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Renter and Runner 








Professor of Sociology and Chairman of Tfiepartment, Director School 

of Social Administration, The Ohio State University; 

Author, " Mercantile Credit" 






All rights reserved. This book, or 

parts thereof t may not be reproduced 

in any form without permission of 

the publishers. 



The greatest freedom of discussion should attend the 
development of training in any field of human usefulness. 
This fact is the reason for the present volume on the 
"Training of Social Workers." 

Most of the subjects discussed in this book are in the 
realms of controversy. As organized training for the 
social worker is relatively recent, no traditions guide 
the teachers of social work. The theories with refer- 
ence to the organization of the work of the schools of 
social work, the content of the courses offered, the 
methods of teaching, the purposes of the schools, the pre- 
requisite requirements of students who enter the schools, 
are either derived from other schools which train profes- 
sional workers in other branches of usefulness or else 
are born out of the necessity to qualify new people for 
the jobs of social work which need to be filled.* Those 
confronted with the organization of the curriculum of a 
school of social work are confronted with many baffling 
theories: (1) What is the relationship of the technical 
training in social work to the social sciences and psychol- 
ogy and biology? (2) Should the training ever be 
given in an undergraduate school? (3) Is the graduate 
training now offered in the schools really graduate in 
character? (4) Are trade school methods used in the 
work now offered? (5) Should the schools be organized 
in universities and university standards maintained, 
both in the character of courses offered and in the 
methods of teaching? (6) What empliasis should be 
placed on social research? (7) What time should be 
allotted to field work, and what should be the purpose 
of field-work training? (8) Should the principles of 


social work be taught chiefly by the case method of 
teaching or should the case method of teaching be 
restricted to the teaching of the various techniques? 

(9) What is necessary to make social work a profession? 

(10) What training should qualify a candidate for 
membership in the professional association of social 
workers? These and similar questions this book will 
attempt to answer. 

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Professors 
Louise Mark, Charles C. Stillman, and Leila Kinney 
of the Ohio State University and to Miss Sydnor H. 
Walker of the Carnegie Foundation, who have read 
some of the chapters of this book and made valuable 


July, 1931. 












WORK 79 















INDEX 201 



In the United States there are many millions of boys 
and girls between the ages of six and twenty-one growing 
up to maturity. These boys and girls are receiving an 
education to fit them for adult life in the American 
republic. In the process of developing body, mind, and 
spirit so that they can battle with all the complexities of 
the modern civilization into which they must enter as 
participants upon the attainment of adult life, they must 
make three very important individual adjustments: 

1. Each one must develop habits of industry and 
receive training suited to his capacities to enable him 
to be an efficient producer capable of supplying all his 
economic wants. If he be a young man and marries, it 
becomes his obligation to maintain a reasonable standard 
of living for his family. 

2. In growing up to maturity each one must develop 
habits of social adjustment that will enable him to live in 
harmony with people and in obedience to the laws of 
society. Failing in this he becomes a criminal. 

3. Each one should grow up observing such laws of 
health as will enable him to attain maturity physically 
strong and free from disease. 

Of the millions of young people coming to maturity 
each year in an individualistic society where each must 



make his own adaptations, it is apparent that many 
must fail in one or more adaptations even among those 
who are not mentally and physically inferior. Those who 
are defective or subnormal constitute a class by them- 
selves who should be favored by public or private benefi- 
cence. But upon some of the others the differences in 
the home and social conditions in which they are reared 
impose terrible handicaps. Under these circumstances a 
certain percentage of failures is inevitable. While 
some failures are due to personal causes, many more are 
traceable to social causes which may be eliminated. 

Social work is organized to serve those who have failed 
or are failing in their social adjustments. It is the 
application of scientific methods by the trained social 
worker for the following purposes: (1) to relieve the 
distress of the poverty stricken, to make individual and 
social adjustments to enable those in poverty to become 
economically independent, and to study the causes of 
poverty for the purpose of eliminating them; (2) to study 
the individual delinquent to determine the causes of his 
delinquency, to work out individual and social adjust- 
ments that will enable him to live free from delinquency, 
and to remove the causes of delinquency wherever they are 
discoverable; (3) in cooperation with the medical profes- 
sion to study the individual and social causes of disease 
as a foundation for a program of health education; (4) to 
study the causes and conditions of defectiveness, to 
remove causes and to cure where possible, and, when 
custodial care is needed, to apply scientific methods in the 
administration of institutions so that the purposes of 
custodial care will be accomplished; (5) to apply scientific 
methods in the administration of all other social institu- 
tions, such as those caring for dependent children, the 
crippled, the sick, and the delinquent; (6) to apply 
scientific knowledge to the handling of personality prob- 
lems in the form of complexes so as to work out a more 


normal adjustment of the individual; (7) to apply 
scientific knowledge to develop the recreational life and 
social life of people through such means as playgrounds 
and boy scouts, girl scouts, and camp fire girls activities. 

Social work has gone through two stages and is now 
going through a third stage of development. The first 
stage was that of charity, "the feeding of the hungry, the 
clothing of the nakecf the relief of distress, the correc- 
tion of wrongdoing or the reformation of the criminal. 
In this stage distress was relieved too often without 
reference to the effect of the method of relief on the 
recipient. Dr. Holmes somewhere refers to tramps "as 
the wandering evidences of our benevolence. " "The 
giving which pauperizes 7 ' has become a stock phrase of all 
social workers of the last generation. The disastrous 
effects of the Gilbert Acts of Great Britain in the closing 
years of the eighteenth century are matters of history. 
The poor departments of American cities in the sixties, 
seventies, and eighties expended large sums of money 
unwisely in caring for their poor, the result being a 
tremendous amount of pauperization. It has been 
generally concluded that giving without reference to 
method is unwise charity and perhaps in the long run 
does more harm than good. As an offset to the harm 
done recipients, the defenders of this charity claimed that 
giving was good for the soul of the giver and urged that 
some opportunity should be given for this form of 

In this period, in obedience to charitable impulses, 
great institutions of private and public beneficence were 
founded, such as insane asylums, orphanages, hospitals, 
poorhouses, and children's homes. These institutions 
were chiefly custodial in character; they made their 
inmates comfortable as far as possible, but little or noth- 
ing of a constructive character was done. 


In the period of philanthropy succeeding that of 
charity the emphasis was put on cure and prevention. 
People in misery must always be relieved, but scientific 
aspects entered in and the effect on the recipient and 
others of his class was taken into account in choosing 
the methods employed. These methods were scientific, 
in so far as they were based on experience in giving in 
dealing with human problems from a knowledge of 
human nature. The restoration of the respect of the 
individual and making him and his family self-reliant 
were considered fundamental. The methods of philan- 
thropy moreover were scientific, since social workers in 
this period made a study of the causes of poverty, 
dependency, sickness, and delinquency, and assigned 
specific causes or a complex of causes to each class of mis- 
fortune. The institutions above referred to were changed 
in character. The insane asylums became hospitals for 
the cure of insanity. The institutions for the deaf and 
blind became educational institutions in the best sense to 
train the deaf and the blind to become self-supporting 
members of society. The orphanages became children's 
homes for an adequate training of the children, or else 
receiving institutions from which children were placed in 
natural homes as more suitable places in which they 
should grow up. Reformatories and industrial schools 
were also established with the purpose of reclaiming 
delinquents and fitting them for normal life in society. 

Much reliance was placed upon preventive philan- 
thropy in removing the causes of misery which social 
investigations had revealed. Laws were passed providing 
for shorter working days, especially for women and 
children. Child-labor laws came into existence, as did 
laws for the inspection of factories, standardizing housing 
conditions, compelling attendance at school, providing 
for mothers' pensions, controlling loan sharks, and 
regulating public employment agencies. Minimum 


wages, l accident insurance, old-age pensions, 2 and censored 
amusements all were established by law. The gains 
through legislation of this sort have doubtless been 
tremendous, but leading social workers have been 
disappointed with the results even of this legislation. 

But within the last ten years a new note has been 
struck in social work. The name social work has 
supplanted its predecessor philanthropy. The National 
Conference representing social workers carried the name 
social work. Most of the state conferences of social 
workers have accepted the latter name in one form or an- 
other, and the professional schools for the training of social 
workers have practically all abandoned the term philan- 
thropy to designate the subject matter of their training. 

Has social work come to connote anything new, some- 
thing not suggested by the term philanthropy? Relief 
must be given, but in accordance with scientific laws. 
All the best in social work conducted as charity or under 
the name of philanthropy must be preserved. Social 
work assumes that no two individuals are alike, and it 
consequently emphasizes individual treatment based 
upon a careful diagnosis whether in delinquency, case 
work in relief, the placing of a homeless child, insanity, 
feeble-mindedness, or in the lesser mental disorders 
needing the attention of a psychiatrist. " Justice First, " 
the subject of the annual address of the conference of 
charities and corrections in 1927, suggests a fundamental 
starting point. The positive good was suggested as a new 
note in social work by a president of the above-named 
conference, who urged at the same time that it should 
reach not alone the defective, the handicapped, and the 
underprivileged whom we have heretofore assumed were 
the subjects of consideration by the social worker, but 
all classes under certain circumstances, as the children 

1 In some states for women. 
a In some states. 


of the well-to-do may need the attention of the visiting 
teacher. 1 "A more abundant life the individual to 
become the best he can be the community to become the 
finest and fullest expression of social life that it can be, 
with no one left behind; such is the goal that grows more 
clear before us." 

Dr. Cabot expresses the same idea in his book "The 
Goal of Social Work" when he says, "The social worker's 
goal, therefore, is the relief of misery and unhappiness so 
that people's enfranchized and organized desires can find 
their expression in the social relationships which are a 
part of their natural outlet." 

The removal of the causes of misfortune or even the 
setting up of a wholesome environment, good as they are, 
are not an adequate goal of the social worker if the highest 
objects of social work are to be attained. The range of 
human nature is infinite, and no two individuals react 
the same way to an environment. The individual must 
be reached individually if he is to be reclaimed, reformed, 
or revitalized so that he can develop his personality and 
grow into a self-respecting and righteous member of 
society. After a thorough diagnosis, wherever possible 
the social worker must choose the environment and 
observe the reaction of the environment upon the case. 
This is now done in psychiatric work, in child placing, in 
probation work, parole work, in some institutional, and, 
to a certain extent, in nearly all forms of case work. 

Social workers must deal understandingly with the 
whole range of social institutions and social activities to 
promote a more normal and richer human life. Applied 
sociology must establish the social activities in social 
institutions where the desired attitudes and social values 
will be developed. With the capacity for thorough case 
work and individual and social diagnosis, and with a 
thorough understanding of the significance of human 

1 Gertrude Vaile, The National Conference of Social Work, 1926. 


institutions and the value of social activities it is possible 
for the social worker to draw rational conclusons. 
Broadly trained, with the possession of this knowledge 
and point of view, with the scientific spirit and attitude 
of mind, the social worker will find it possible to do con- 
structive work. Such is the equipment, the training, and 
the point of view of the social worker of the future if 
social work is to be really constructive. 

Social work itself, like work in all other professions, is 
an art. However, anything that is worth while in any 
profession must have its roots in science. Scientific 
social work is consequently based on science. However, 
it is more difficult to be scientific in social relationships 
than in any other field because of the complexity of the 
phenomena, because social phenomena are more difficult 
to understand than any other phenomena, and because, 
in most cases, experimentation is impossible. In many 
instances defectiveness may be traced to specific causes, 
as is often the case in insanity, feeble-mindedness, 
blindness, deafness, etc. In practically all kinds of 
mental trouble it is possible to observe reactions to 
different mental stimuli and to work out classifications 
based on a wide range of observations. 

In the cases of poverty and pauperism the situation is 
more complex. It is easy to differentiate between pov- 
erty and pauperism, although each is traced usually to a 
complexity of causes. In instances of marked inferiority 
the causes are relatively simple. Many studies have 
been made describing the conditions and extent of 
poverty, a matter which is relatively simple as compared 
to an analysis of causes from the history of individual 
and family cases with an attempt to appraise the influence 
of separate causes. This latter study is more difficult 
and the probability of error in the conclusion is therefore 
greater. However, the probability of error in conclusion 
is reduced with the number of studies made and likewise 


with the number of instances taken into account. In 
the application of remedial measures to reclaim the 
victims of misfortune we are on more certain ground. In 
methods of procedure in handling cases of misfortune 
definite reactions have been noted in almost countless 
instances and consequently conclusions have almost the 
value of certitude. 

In handling causes of delinquency the situations are 
almost identical with those affecting poverty except that 
the phenomena here are more complex. In instances 
of feeble-mindedness and insanity again the causal 
relation is relatively clear. In most other cases we have 
a complex of causes with the scientific obligation of 
assigning to each cause its appropriate influence, which 
can only be an approximate expression of the truth. It is 
possible, however, to conclude with greater precision 
in the use of methods of reforming the delinquent or in 
restoring him to normal relations in society. This is 
true where scientific methods are used but not in the big 
institutions where multitudes are given the same treat- 
ment. Where the individual delinquent is thoroughly 
studied physically, mentally, and from the point of 
view of his present and past environment, it is possible 
through a knowledge of social agencies and environments 
to place the individual delinquent where his reactions 
to them will lead to transformations which in most 
instances, will make the unfortunate a law-abiding 

If social work is to take its rightful place in society it 
must be based on science or scientific methods. In social 
cases to act without knowledge of the laws of society and 
human relationships, which are founded on wide observa- 
tion and the tested experience of the past, is stupidity to 
the nth degree. When the seriousness of the conse- 
quences of such procedure is considered, our vocabulary 
fails in terms suitable to the situations. 


Social work must deal with three large groups: the 
handicapped, the underprivileged, and the delinquent. 


Who are the handicapped? They represent that large 
class who because of physical or mental infirmity are 
unable to compete on even terms with the rest of man- 
kind. The deaf, the blind, the insane, and feeble-minded 
because of their major defects would at once be placed in 
this class. Practically all states provide special state 
schools for the education of the deaf and blind at public 
expense in which they receive the sort of education 
calculated to make them independent. Special facilities 
are also provided through state commissions to assist 
them in making adjustments to mitigate the seriousness 
of their handicaps. 

Many of the feeble-minded need permanent custodial 
care, and the great majority of those at large must be 
supported in whole or in part. The insane hospitals 
often cure insanity and restore cases to society. Others 
are permanent charges on society and permanent 
custodial care must be given. 

The great majority of those who are handicapped are 
handicapped because of poverty. Most of the problems 
with which social workers have to do are directly or 
indirectly problems of poverty. Consequently the most 
important question which social workers must answer- 
is: Why are people poor? While the conditions of 
poverty are well known to most of us, poverty itself is 
difficult to define. At the risk of this definition having 
the shortcomings of most definitions, a definition of 
poverty is here attempted. 

Poverty is that condition of individual or family 
welfare in which those individuals concerned do not 
enjoy the necessities and conveniences of life which are 
regarded in their environment as adequate to whole- 


some living. According to this definition poverty is 
relative. A state of life which in one part of the world 
might be construed as poverty in another section of the 
world would not be so considered. One writer has 
indicated that a very important factor in poverty is the 
fear and dread of want. According to him a family may 
be enjoying necessities and conveniences, but the fear 
and dread of want due to circumstances beyond control 
leave the family in poverty. 

The percentage of poverty in this or any country at any 
time is always a moot question, since so much depends on 
one's understanding of what poverty is and upon avail- 
able facts to establish a conclusion. The idea expressed 
in the last paragraph is best suggested by the query: 
How many people are within thirty days of the poor- 
house? Assuming that sources of income were suddenly 
cut off for all families in the United States, what per- 
centage of them would have to receive public or private 
aid within thirty days or else become destitute? A 
much larger percentage than most of us imagine of the 
families of the United States would become dependent 
in thirty days under the conditions assumed. 

Between twenty and twenty-five years ago many 
studies were made to determine the minimum income an 
average American family must have to avoid dependency. 
These estimates ranged all the way from $600 to $1,000 
per year, and each writer attempted to state the sort of 
living conditions his estimate would provide. These 
estimates are far too low now. The World War and the 
intervening years have brought about radical changes in 
the costs of the necessities and luxuries of life as of other 
things. Wages too have risen and a moot question 
now is : Have wages risen as rapidly as the costs of living? 

It is safe to say that an average American family, that 
is, a family of four or five children with two parents, 
should have an income of from $1,800 to $2,000 a year in 


an American city at the present time to live in reasonable 
and frugal comfort. This assumes that the children are 
given a reasonable education and that insurance is 
carried which protects the family economically against 
the hazards of sickness or the death of the breadwinner. 

All business and professional men of standing, all 
expert mechanics, and nearly all skilled men should be 
able to maintain this standard of living. Unskilled wage 
earners at the present scale of wages cannot maintain 
this standard. Certainly they should be able to do so, 
but this involves a wage of $6 to $7 a day. When this is 
asked for, the reply of the employer is that industry 
cannot pay such a wage to the unskilled wage earner. 
Industry at the present time must bear the cost of 
insurance against the destruction of the property, 
insurance to cover depreciation of plant, and liability 
insurance where it is required by law. These insurance 
costs are charged against industry as necessary costs of 
production before dividends are paid. Is it not reason- 
able to charge a living wage to the able-bodied, produc- 
tive, unskilled wage earner as necessary costs of 
production before any dividends are paid, just as insur- 
ance costs are charged against industry as necessary 
costs of production? Will industry stand such an 
additional cost? If insurance risks should double within 
a month, this additional cost would be charged at once 
against industry to be distributed in higher prices on 
society. An increased wage cost all along the line in 
industry can be passed on to the consumer if it is neces- 
sary to do so, the same as the consumer is made to bear 
any other increased costs of production. 

The competitive system has broken down in the matter 
of adjusting wages and prices. In the interests of justice, 
humanitarian ideals must be taken into account in 
fixing wages. Is not the able-bodied, industrious, 
self-reliant wage earner entitled to a wage that will 


enable him and his family to live a life of reasonable 
comfort? Social workers should be advocates of reason- 
able minimum-wage laws, not alone for women and 
children but for men, and society should look to them for 
leadership because they are best informed concerning 
the conditions under which people live and work. 

There are some classes of unskilled workers who may 
not be entitled to this minimum wage and some provision 
should be made for them. Those who are physically 
strong but of a low order of intelligence may not have the 
intelligence to maintain minimum standards of work 
except under careful supervision. There are those, too, 
of good intelligence but not physically strong who are 
unskilled workers and may not be entitled to the mini- 
mum wage. 

Many who are now unskilled workers and who receive 
low wages should be skilled workers and receive good 
wages. Many capable of receiving a fair education are 
unskilled workers for a variety of reasons. In the 
absence of vocational training, many have failed to 
appreciate the value of an education and consequently 
have joined the ranks of the unskilled. Others who have 
been compelled to work while young, have either had 
school opportunities denied them, or have been interfered 
with to such an extent that they could make but little 
progress in education. Still others have gotten into 
blind-alley occupations without realizing it or without 
the possibility of avoiding them, and have unwillingly or 
through no fault of their own gone to increase the ranks 
of the unskilled. With vocational guidance, a more far- 
reaching and practical education, the pressure now in the 
ranks of the unskilled can be relieved and those more 
capable individuals who now exist in poverty can be 
elevated to a higher economic plane. 

There are personal causes of poverty which have never 
been adequately investigated. Drink and the use of 


drugs have always been assigned as a great cause of 
poverty. Recently, however, we have been told that 
poverty is more often the cause of the drinking habit 
than the drinking habit of poverty. Whichever may be 
the cause, it has always been concluded that the amount 
of money expended for drink if used to buy necessaries 
and conveniences of life would greatly improve the 
standard of living of the families of drinking men. Per- 
haps the most serious situation is due to the debilitating 
and demoralizing effect of drink and drugs upon the 
worker. His working capacity is reduced and his 
earning power is greatly curtailed. 

Laziness, shiftlessness, bad habits of spending and 
saving are important causes, and naturally one wonders 
whether these things are due to the habits of youth or are 
the result of causes more remote. Some of these weak- 
nesses and perhaps most of them are due to the bad 
habits of early life, but others may be due to forces more 
far-reaching concerning which we know but little. 

This is but a very brief and cursory reference to some of 
the causes of poverty. The social worker who must deal 
with poverty daily should have a comprehensive grasp 
of the whole social situation in which people become 
poor if he is to deal adequately with the everyday 
problems of poverty. 

Ill health and deaths due to preventable diseases are 
responsible for more poverty and misery than most of us 
dream. Aside from the misery and pain it causes, disease 
reduces the vitality and working capacity of its victims. 
If knowledge which science has already revealed as to 
the nature and causes of different diseases were widely 
diffused, it would reduce greatly the death rate, prolong 
human life, and mitigate the terrors and economic 
burdens of unnecessary disease. In the last quarter of a 
century great progress has been made in preventing 
the spread of contagious diseases, in eliminating epidemic 


diseases by removing causes and improving treatment, 
and in reducing the severity of other diseases and the 
death rate arising from them. Life expectancy has been 
prolonged chiefly by reducing the death rate of children 
under five years of age. 

Health social service means the discovery of the causes 
of disease and the wide dissemination of information 
concerning these causes, along with training people to 
care for themselves when afflicted with disease. To 
accomplish these purposes large financial foundations 
are expending millions annually in studying the causes of 
disease and the best treatment. Many organizations 
have established health programs. Among these are 
instructive district nursing associations, tuberculosis 
nursing societies, and health clinics. Health dispen- 
saries, too, such as those for tuberculosis and cancer, 
fresh-air camps, hospital social-service organizations and 
such propaganda organizations as public-health associa- 
tions, hospital associations, and social hygienic associa- 
tions all have well-established health programs. 

Public authority has long since accepted a definite 
responsibility for public health education and for social 
policies with reference to the cause, spread, and treatment 
of disease. All of our states have public health depart- 
ments with local health divisions and the national 
government maintains a public health service. In 
recent years the school nurse is being employed at public 
expense in many communities. 

Health is a matter of social rather than of individual 
significance. If disease had to do with the individual 
alone the state would be interested in him only as it is 
interested in each of its citizens. But the individual 
may spread contagion or infect others, and the state in 
the interest of public welfare must take active steps to 
prevent contagion and discover the cause of disease. 
While this is in process of writing the state of Ohio is 


confronted with the spread of infantile paralysis, and 
boards of health are actively interested in preventing its 

As health is a social problem, the state is compelled to 
protect the weak and the ignorant from the exploitation 
of imposters and charlatans. When disease enters the 
home the poor are more often the victims of fakers than 
any other class. In most states, laws require licenses to 
permit physicians to practice medicine. In spite of 
these laws, quacks, faith healers, chiropractors, and 
Christian Scientists profit at the expense of the gullible. 

Less than twenty-five years ago the most progressive 
hospitals learned that to economize on the services of 
their highly trained staff and keep their cases from 
returning again and again to the hospital for treatment it 
was more economical to follow the cases to their homes 
and give them and those with whom they were associated 
a health education on treatment and cause which would 
prevent them from returning to the hospital. This was 
the origin of the hospital social worker. As an organic 
part of the hospital she goes with the case to the home 
suspected of needing some reorganization for the benefit 
of the health of the case as well as of that of other mem- 
bers of the family, and under the authority of the hospital 
she works out solutions for the benefit of the entire 
family. The hospital thus becomes a public health 
center. The district nurses and tuberculosis nurses, 
though not associated with a hospital, perform a similar 
educational service in visiting homes of the poor espe- 
cially where the poor are living in bad housing conditions. 
In cooperation with dispensaries and health clinics and in 
cooperation with the medical profession they render a 
great service in the interests of health. 

The function of the health social workers is to teach' 
people to make the social adjustments necessary to 
prevent illness and to care for themselves properly when 


ill. We find them in public and private organizations, 
state and national, carrying on effective campaigns in a 
variety of ways to educate people to accomplish the 
above-named functions. We find them also in hospital 
service, in clinics, in dispensaries, in public health 
centers, etc. Dr. Richard C. Cabot in his book, " Social 
Service and the Art of Healing" describes the work of 
the health social worker as follows: 

To make the doctor's work worth while to himself and to 
the patient, it must be done in cooperation with some one who 
has time and ability to teach hygiene and to see that it is 
carried out, to study the home conditions and report upon 
their part in causing or prolonging disease, and to help modify 
those conditions, financial, mental, moral, which stand between 
the patient and recovery. This some one is the social worker 
a man or woman trained to think of a human being as a whole 
just as naturally as the physician concentrates attention on a 
part of it. 


It is not my purpose to differentiate strictly between 
the handicapped and the underprivileged. All under- 
privileged people are handicapped but not all handi- 
capped people are underprivileged. It happens that 
"underprivileged" characterizes some people better than 
the term "handicapped" ; moreover its use differentiates 
a certain class from those who are handicapped but not 
underprivileged. It is with these ideas in mind that I am 
using the term underprivileged. 

Who are the underprivileged? This terminology 
suggests a failure of society to equalize the opportunities 
for all the people. In times past we have idealized 
equality and have assumed that those governments 
which interfered but little with the activities of the 
individual and permitted him to work out his own 
economic and personal salvation unimpeded and unham- 


pered by government regulation, were best. We have 
come to believe with Antone Menger that there is no 
greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals. 
Individuals should be equal before the law, but this does 
not imply that the same legal treatment should be given 
very different persons. Not all people are equal from 
any point of view. As a matter of fact, no two people are 

In considering the status of the underprivileged our 
first thought is directed to children. On this subject 
the National Children's Bureau says, 

The fundamental rights of childhood arc normal home life, 
opportunities for education, recreation, vocational preparation 
for life, and moral, religious and physical development in 
harmony with American ideals and the educational and spiri- 
tual agencies by which these rights of the child are normally 

Children who must attend inferior schools and study 
under incompetent teachers are underprivileged. Where 
private schools are superior to the public schools and 
the children of the wealthy are permitted to attend pri- 
vate schools under superior teachers they have advan- 
tages which the children of the poor do not enjoy. If 
the children of the lower walks of life cannot attend 
high school or college when it is a distinct advantage to 
attend high school or college, then they are under- 
privileged in this respect. 

The right to a normal home life is one of the funda- 
mental rights of childhood. Many are denied this right 
and are thus underprivileged. Many grow up in broken 
homes, others in crowded homes, others where the 
physical conditions of the home are anything but elevat- 
ing, others in homes where the physical and moral 
surroundings are deteriorating if not degrading in their 
influence, and others where the moral atmosphere 


of the home is positively degrading. These children 
are underprivileged. 

It is not possible for social work to correct all the 
inequalities which surround childhood. Many worthy 
things it does do, however. Where home conditions 
are very bad, for example, it breaks up the home and 
provides a more normal home life. Through it the 
orphanage and children's home are being abandoned as 
improper environments in which children grow up. 
Child placing and child boarding in normal homes with 
all the standards of investigation and supervision are 
attempts of social work to remove as far as possible all 
the handicaps under which homeless children or children 
of disadvantaged homes are living. 

Children should have a playtime and an opportunity 
for recreation and normal physical development. To 
guarantee these rights social settlements, playgrounds, 
recreation centers, summer camps, the playgrounds of 
schools, and the recreation opportunities of schools are 
established. Mothers' pensions are now authorized 
by the laws of many states to give children who have lost 
their bread-winning parent some of the privileges and 
opportunities of those who have not met with such 
a misfortune. These and many other agencies are at 
work to correct the inequalities of childhood. 

Many adults are underprivileged. Through personal 
and other causes many do not enjoy the opportunities 
and privileges which their fellow men more favorably 
situated financially, enjoy. The right to employment 
of the able-bodied and industrious is now coming to be 
recognized. Periods of industrial depression often leave 
thousands of workers unemployed through no fault of 
their own. Under these circumstances unless they have 
laid aside considerable sums of money, they and their 
families will know all the terrors of extreme poverty 
and become subjects of charity. It is unfair that they 


should bear so heavily the costs of industrial depressions 
and unemployment. Some form of employment insur- 
ance for such workers should be regarded a right. 

Many states have laws providing insurance against 
industrial accidents and some sickness insurance. Where 
no such legislation exists the workers are underprivileged. 
In some countries old-age pensions are provided. The 
writer is not in favor of old-age pensions, as he would 
prefer to see much better wages paid and the worker left 
himself to make provision from surplus earning for his 
old age. 


With the rise of the juvenile court thirty years ago, a 
splendid opportunity came for social work in the field of 
delinquency. The conception that the delinquent was an 
individual to be reclaimed and that he had to be reached 
individually through a thorough study of his personality 
from the point of view of his heredity, his home life, 
his environment, his physical condition, his mentality, 
and an appraisal of the influences causing his misbe- 
havior led to a demand for a well-equipped social worker. 
The successful probation officer must be a thorough case 
worker since he is required not only to make the diagnosis 
above described, but to have such a knowledge of the 
significance of social institutions as will enable him to 
place the delinquent in an environment where con- 
structive work of a high order may be accomplished. 
While not many juvenile courts and probation officers 
measure up to the above description at present, successful 
juvenile courts must await the sort of case work above 

The successful organization of the probation work of 
the courts, the keeping of appropriate records, the work- 
ing out of cooperative relations in the community 
involves executive capacity of a high order. The 


efficiency of the juvenile court depends in largest measure 
not on the judge but on the probation officers and the 
successful organization of probation work. 

The most advanced criminal courts for adults are 
organizing probation work. While this work is not as 
well developed as the probation work for juveniles, 
the principles are the same. Cases coming before 
the court must be investigated to determine which are 
proper cases for probation. Of course those cases only 
should be probated where the prison sentence will do no 
good and may do positive harm, and where the individual 
may be reclaimed as a law-abiding citizen. Professional 
social workers should have these cases in charge, since 
there is involved follow-up work of the case when on 
probation, which includes the evaluating of the environ- 
ment and the reactions of the environment on the 
probationer. The determination of who should be 
placed on probation also involves investigations which 
should be made by mature investigators. 

Parole officers of penal institutions should be social 
workers. To an increasing extent the best authorities on 
penal problems are of the belief that all men let out of 
prison should be released on parole. If the prison is to be 
a reformatory all men released from prison should be 
tried out first before they are given complete liberty. 
If this is done parole officers should be appointed in 
sufficient numbers to enable them to do real case work 
with the number under the jurisdiction of each. It is 
only under such circumstances that parole work can be 
said to have been really tried. The parole officer should 
know the men in prison and should know the circum- 
stances and conditions under which the man who is to be 
under his charge is released on parole. 

In institutions for juvenile delinquents it has long been 
recognized that all leaving the institution should have a 
probationary parole period before they are finally 


released. Unfortunately the parole officers of these 
institutions have always too many under their charge 
to do good parole work, but even if they had a reasonable 
number to supervise, the great majority of them have 
neither the capacity nor training to do good case work 
with them. Parole work for juvenile delinquents and 
parole work for adults must await a time when our 
faith in parole work is such as to enable us to employ a 
sufficient number of well-trained men and women to do 
high-grade constructive work with those released from 
penal institutions. 

The internal organization of institutions for juvenile 
delinquents has not become so systematized in perhaps a 
majority of them as to preclude the possibility of 
individual constructive work of well-trained men and 
women. Summer camps for boys and girls have well- 
developed systems, but the system is of such a character 
as to permit individual constructive work of a high order. 
When institutions for juvenile delinquents are so organ- 
ized and financed as to permit individual constructive 
work by well-trained men and women, it will be possible 
for them to accomplish measurable results before their 
charges are placed on parole. 


Social work has undergone many changes in the last 
fifty years. Charities and Corrections, the name under 
which the national association was organized, covered 
satisfactorily the work which was being done at the 
outset, but before 1900, social activities had developed 
out of harmony with the name of the national association. 
In the beginning public relief or public welfare work was 
all-important. There were asylums or hospitals for the 
insane and feeble-minded, institutions for the deaf and 
blind, poorhouses or almshouses, and children's homes, 
usually with the county as the unit, and public outdoor 
relief in which the township was usually the unit. In 
correction work there were reformatories, industrial 
schools, industrial homes, penitentiaries, workhouses, etc. 
In all state or national associations public welfare or 
public relief occupied the center of the stage, and the 
representatives of public organizations looked askance at 
representatives of private philanthropies. The writer 
recalls the difficulty of getting the representatives of 
state or local public institutions interested in construc- 
tive social work at the Ohio Conference of Charities and 
Corrections in the early years of this century. Even 
then the newer divisions of social work had little or no 
standing. Up to 1900, social work of the country was 
fairly well represented by Henderson's book, "The 
Defectives, the Dependents, and the Delinquents/' and 
Warner's " American Charities." 

The charity organization and the settlement move- 
ments representing the newer order of things had attained 



considerable headway before 1900. The consumers' 
leagues, the child-welfare legislation, and factory inspec- 
tion and factory legislation as concrete social movements 
had all arisen before 1900. Immediately following 1900, 
many other movements such as child-labor legislation, 
recreation, playgrounds, public health and a newer 
conception of institutional organization and management 
and other newer activities emerged, and they have since 
attained great development. 

Although the name Charities and Corrections of the 
national association was not changed until 1917, the 
inadequacy of the old terminology to express the work of 
the association was realized long before the change was 
made in name. In the popular mind the term "philan- 
thropy" succeeded "charities and corrections," and the 
first training schools for the education of social workers 
bore this name as the New York School of Philanthropy, 
the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. The 
terms "social service/' "welfare work," "social-service 
work," and "social work," each in turn has bid for 
acceptance, while the training schools have abandoned 
the term "philanthropy" and are called schools of social 
work, social service, social administration, and social 
service administration. 

In general, social work deals chiefly with poverty, 
disease, and crime and the problems directly or indirectly 
related to these. Its emphasis is on the pathological and 
the removing of the causes of the pathological. Social 
work is consequently interested in better legislation on 
the employment especially of women and children, in 
factory laws and factory inspection, in tenement legisla- 
tion and housing laws, and in health and sanitary laws. 
It also concerns itself with playgrounds and recreation 
centers, and as the wealthy as well as the underprivileged 
need these things, social work cannot be said to be 
exclusively for the poor, the sick, and the delinquent. 


Moreover, there are mental problem cases among the 
children of the rich as well as others, and there is no 
reason why the social psychiatrist should not serve the 
rich in the future as well as the poor. 

Moreover, some of the work now done in the country 
by the farm bureau is of the same kind as some of the 
work universally designated as social when done in the 
city. This social work in the country is done by experts 
employed by the beneficiaries, and there is no reason why 
organized groups may not employ expert social workers 
and pay them for their services. ;, 

The one thing we should keep in mind is that social 
work assumes maladjustment of some sort, and its 
purpose is to bring about a better adjustment. In most 
tases it is work done by the expert who is employed by 
the privileged or by those in better circumstances for the 
benefit of those who are less circumstanced. There is no 
reason why social work may not be done by an expert 
for those who are seeking a better adjustment. 

It is said that social work lacks unity because of the 
great variety of techniques it has. Perhaps the most 
definite technique is to be found in case work. A more 
or less definite technique prevails here when used in 
family rehabilitation, child welfare, and in delinquency in 
adjusting the individual to his family, or in adjusting 
him to his family or community in probation or parole. 

Other techniques quite different from case work are 
found in community organization, in settlement work, in 
recreation work, and in other forms of community 
organization. Another technique is .required in person- 
nel work in industrial management, while still different 
techniques are found in work promoting legislation in 
social investigation and in health work. While there is a 
difference in the techniques of the social workers in these 
different fields, there should be much more that is com- 
mon in the point of view and in the training of these 


social workers thanl there is of difference in them. 
The fundamental thilg to be kept in mind is that the 
problems of the social worker are social welfare and 
producing a better adjustment of those with whom he 

Does social work involve simply doing good? If this 
were so, perhaps over one-half the race could make a 
claim as a social worker. Doing good may mean in 
many cases promoting social welfare and bringing about 
a better adjustment. However, many cases of so-called 
"doing good" may mean quite the contrary. Much 
that is done as social work at one time may be so stand- 
ardized later that it ceases to be social work because of its 
character. The granting of allowances to the soldiers' 
families by the Red Cross during and since the World 
War was social work, as each family was a case and the 
allotment depended on circumstances, while the flat 
allowances to the soldiers of the Civil War was not social 
work because each of a class received the same amount. 
Providing for mothers' pensions today is social work, but 
it is conceivable that the allowances to mothers may 
become so standardized that the distribution of funds to 
mothers may cease to be social work. 
( Social work is closely allied to many fields, and social 
workers must labor in conjunction with those working in 
them. Social workers dealing with problems of children 
whether of health, delinquency, or family rehabilitation, 
must of necessity work with teachers. If the teacher is 
well trained and has a broad point of view, some of her 
work with children would be designated social work if 
done by a social worker. This, however, does not make 
her a social worker. The physician has an intimate 
acquaintance with the problems of the home, and the 
following of his advice may lead to a better organization 
of the home and may even prevent delinquency. Our 
contention is that this does not make him to that extent 


a social worker. A mother of children who has had 
considerable experience in dealing with their ailments 
often diagnoses disease and gives remedies which cure the 
patient. This, however, does not make her either a 
physician or nurse. It would be just as reasonable to 
claim that a mother is a physician by virtue of her 
services in the latter case as to claim that the physician 
and teacher are social workers in the former cases. 

Moreover, the clergyman is often said to be doing social 
work and on that account is a social worker. Many 
laymen influence individuals spiritually in far-reaching 
ways, but this does not make them clergymen. Hospital 
social service is social work but not the work of the 
hospital nurse. The nurses of instructive district nurs- 
ing associations and tuberculosis nurses who visit the 
homes of the poor to nurse and give instruction in 
caring for the sick are social workers, but not the private 
nurses who care for people in their homes. There 
is a clear line of demarcation between the two sets of 
services here discussed which is easy to understand. 

Individuals serving on boards of philanthropic and 
social-work societies defining and approving policies are 
not by virtue of such service social workers. The writer 
of this chapter has served for many years as a member of 
boards of many social organizations, such as a charity 
organization society, a social settlement, the Florence 
Crittenden Home, the Tuberculosis Society, the Red 
Cross, the State Board of Charities, and has been 
chairman of a Red Cross committee on rehabilitation 
following a flood, but he has never assumed that because 
of these associations he was a social worker. Something 
more definitely technical should be reserved for the one 
who is to be designated a professional social worker. 

It has been stated that there is a variety of techniques 
in social work. This feature, however, is not peculiar to 
social work. In the medical profession the technique of 


the surgeon is different from the technique of the general 
practitioner, and in the legal profession the technique of 
the criminal lawyer is different from the technique of the 
corporation lawyer; and the technique of each is different 
from that of the attorney working in a small community. 
Although there are a number of techniques in social work, 
the use of each technique has in mind the improvement of 
general welfare or the working out of better individual or 
social adjustments. 

Social work involves the use of social science, sociology, 
psychology, economics, and political science to accom- 
plish its purposes and aims?) The techniques employed 
are based upon the fundamental principles of the social 
sciences tested by the experience of years in solving indi- 
vidual and social situations. This is scientific social work. 

The term social workers should be applied only to those 
who are employed professionally, that is, to those 
giving their entire time to the work and usually working 
at it for pay. Just as those dabbling in medical or legal 
practice are not considered physicians or lawyers, neither 
should those laboring incidentally in social work be 
considered social workers. 

Furthermore, only those social workers who use scien- 
tific methods should be considered as engaged in social 
work. It will be recalled that in the early development 
of social work in this country, those engaged in public 
work, especially those in institutional work, looked with 
suspicion on the newcomers in the field who were doing 
constructive and preventive work. Naturally it will be 
questioned whether the name social workers will be 
denied those using the methods of thirty or forty years 
ago. It is our belief that the term should be denied all 
those not using scientific methods. 

The best argument for the other side of the question is 
presented by Dr. Edward T. Devine in his book on social 
work. He says: 


It (social work) is used to denote the whole complicated 
net-work of activities which center around the social problems 
of poverty, disease, crime, and other socially abnormal con- 
ditions. The unifying element in social work lies in these 
common social problems with which it is concerned, rather 
than in a common method or motive. 

On the meaning of social work he says: 

Social work, then is the sum of all the efforts made by society 
to take up its own slack, to provide for individuals when its 
established institutions fail them, to supplement those estab- 
lished institutions and to modify them at those points at which 
they have proved to be badly adapted to social needs. It 
may have for its object the relief of individuals or the improve- 
ment of conditions. It may be carried on by the government 
or by an incorporated society or by an informal group or by 
an individual, or it may be a temporary excrescence on some 
older institution which exists primarily for some other function. 
It may be well done or badly; according to the most enlight- 
ened system which intelligence and experience and sympathy 
and vision can devise, or according to the archaic methods 
of careless and lazy emotion. It may be inspired by sympathy 
or expediency or fear of revolution or even of evolutionary 
change, or by a sense of justice and decency. It includes 
everything which is done by society for the benefit of those 
who are not in a position to compete on fair terms with their 
fellows, from whatever motive it may be done, by whatever 
agency or whatever means, and with whatever result. 

I have no objections to calling all the things described 
here social work if many of them are considered in the 
same light as the work of the fakir and pseudo-scientist in 
medicine, the pettifogger in law and all the irregularities 
in education. The regular physician must be licensed 
to practice medicine, the lawyer must be admitted to the 
bar, and teachers must be licensed to teach. These are 
the regular members of the professions they represent. 
Yet in spite of these efforts at standardization for the 


protection of the professions and in the interest of the 
public, many unlicensed pretenders and so-called healers 
impose on the public and attempt to cure disease, many 
irregular and unlicensed men pretend to practice law, 
while nearly every one attempts to teach. 

The members of the profession of social work have not 
the protection of the state in the form of a license to those 
who are competent to practice the profession. As a 
matter of fact, many regular organizations often employ 
persons with neither experience nor training as appren- 
tices and then later make them regular members of their 
staffs. If social work is to receive the recognition which 
its importance deserves, its leaders must fight to place it 
on a more dignified plane by denying recognition to the 
undeserving just as law, medicine, and education arc 
denying the recognition to those unworthy of a place in 
these professions. The National Association of Social 
Workers has set standards for admission to membership 
and these standards, low as they are, should be recognized 
as the minimum for social workers. All social work done 
by others should receive a recognition comparable to 
that accorded all unlicensed persons practicing medicine, 
unlicensed teachers, and those practicing law who have 
not been admitted to the bar. 

Somewhat farther on Dr. Devine says: 

There is social work which is so badly done as to defeat its 
purpose. There is philanthropy which confirms dependence 
instead of relieving it; there are reformatories which educate to 
crime instead of away from it; there are laws intended to 
improve conditions which make them worse. Such under- 
takings are social work but of a low grade. 

This is no overstatement of the case. In every com- 
munity of over 100,000 inhabitants in the United States 
where there is a great variety of social organizations it is 
safe to conclude that over one-half of them are doing 
more harm than good. 


Why recognize this sort of thing as social work at all? 
If this work is antisocial, as Dr. Devine admits, why not 
designate it as it would be designated in any other field of 
knowledge or activity? We would not consider a man 
a lawyer who was getting his clients involved in a viola- 
tion of law, a man a physician who was regularly sending 
his clients to their graves, or a man a minister of the 
gospel who was sending people to the devil. Social 
work is the use of social science by a professional social 
worker in bringing about better individual and social 
adjustments and promoting human welfare, and not in 
producing maladjustments and driving the world to 

Much of social work is of a pioneer character. Some of 
it is restricted to a particular time and place, and when 
the need for it passes it ceases to exist. The kinder- 
garten was first organized by the settlement and as soon 
as its methods were standardized and the need for it was 
established it was taken over by the school, and the 
settlement then ceases to conduct the kindergarten. 
The playground and recreation activities of com- 
munities as organized community social activities were 
first developed by the settlements, and while these have 
now become recognized activities of the school they are 
still conducted by the settlement. 


It has often been said that if the regular social institu- 
tions such as the family, the church, the school, and the 
state, functioned perfectly, there would be no need for 
social work; that its need is in direct proportion to the 
inefficiency of these and all other social institutions and 
agencies. Assuming the correctness of this point of view, 
one can see clearly that the need for social work will 
always be great, since we can never hope for the perfect 
working of man-made institutions. 

If the home and the family functioned to rear healthy, 
socially minded, intelligent, self-sustaining individuals, 
there would be little need for family case work. But this 
assumption calls for a large contract. Even if the 
parents have average mentality and balance, there is 
some chance that some of their children will be below 
normal in mentality, or eccentric. If one or both parents 
are below normal in mentality, or above the average in 
eccentricity, the likelihood of their having abnormal 
children is great. But either or both parents may die, or 
the parents may be separated before the children grow 
up, and in such cases there will always be opportunities 
for the best kind of social work. Even if the parents 
live, and live together until the children grow up, it is too 
much to expect that society will ever be rid of ignorant, 
incompetent, unsocial, or poverty-stricken people who 
will not assume the responsibilities of parenthood. 

If the school functioned as a social institution and 
assumed that it was its primary obligation to develop the 
child intellectually, physically, morally, and spiritually 



instead of teaching certain subjects, and if it had the 
funds to employ competent teachers and to supply 
superior physical facilities, there would be relatively 
little for the social worker to do to make up for the 
deficiencies of the school. It is not likely that the school 
will soon attain the point of view above indicated, and if 
it does, the other elements will not be attained for genera- 
tions to come. 

Much difference of opinion prevails with reference to 
the functions of the church in social work. One dis- 
tinguished clergyman, Dr. Washington Gladden says: 

It is safe to assert that the state of the Christian Church 
in this country at the end of the first decade of the 20th 
century is not all that could be desired. 

What was the relation of Jesus Christ to the poor, the sick, 
and the unfortunate, and what proportion of his public 
ministry was given to what we would call social science? 

It must be remembered that in all the earlier periods of 
Christian history systematic and organized philanthropy was 
almost wholly the work of the church. Hospitals, orphanages, 
infirmaries, most organizations for the care of the sick, the 
needy, and the unfortunate, were church agencies. The 
Roman Catholic Church of today is the inheritor of that 
conception of the relation of the church to the unfortunate 
classes, which explains the fact that her work for the relief 
of suffering and need is so much better organized than that of 
the Protestant Churches. 

In passing it (philanthropic leadership) over to the state, 
the church has divested itself of its most vital function. The 
loss is lamentable, almost fatal; the weakness of the church 
in this latter day is due to it. The church must recover the 
function; it is not a mere matter of expediency; it is a question 
of life or death. l 

If this point of view is followed it simply means that 
the church will be doing social work now done by other 

1 " The Municipal Church," Century Magazine, Vol. 80, pp. 493-499, 


agencies. The other point of view is that the church 
as a teaching organization will develop social-mind- 
edness among its people, so that the regular institu- 
tions of society may function better, and the people 
affiliated with religious organizations will be inspired to 
see that the social work needed will be done more thor- 
oughly than heretofore. 

If industry was organized free from the exploiting point 
of view, if the awards of all classes of workers were evenly 
adjusted with reference to service and need, the amount 
of work to be done by the social worker would be greatly 
reduced. Relatively little progress has been made to 
even up things. The extraordinary gulf between wealth 
and poverty seems to be becoming greater and greater. 
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, 
86 per cent of the people of the United States gainfully 
employed earn less than $2,000 a year. As long as 
these conditions exist, there will be a need for social 
workers to advocate the passing of more just laws and the 
assumption of a more humane point of view of govern- 
ment to take care of and to bolster up the underprivileged 
and to teach people to reduce by voluntary effort the 
handicaps among men. 

If the state were doing its full duty, there would be 
much less need for social work. Much of the inequality 
mentioned in the last paragraph is due to social causes for 
which organized society is to blame. Social justice is 
even yet only a vague dream. There is need for prop- 
aganda in the direction of just laws, which the social 
worker is most competent to promote. The burdens of 
government are far greater than they should be. 
Through short-sighted policies in international relation- 
ships, which were responsible for our great World War, 
governments have placed enormous burdens on the 
backs of people to pay war debts. Through political 
corruption leading to maladministration, other great 


burdens have been imposed. Through the failure to 
exercise common sense in appointing competent people 
to service in public administration, the costs of govern- 
ment are enhanced and public administration is inefficient. 

The attitudes of the early settlers of the United States, 
and of those who succeeded them, were not favorable to 
the development of social work. Many of them came to 
this country because of religious and political persecution 
in the Old World. They were not always consistent in 
setting up their religious and political organizations in the 
New World, since in many cases they in turn persecuted 
those who differed from them. But nevertheless the 
leaders did not want interference from outside forces. 
It was these interferences which caused the American 
Revolution and gave us our independence. The Declara- 
tion of Independence and the Constitution of the United 
States were individualistic documents. The people 
wanted freedom from religious persecution and from too 
much political control. 

Even throughout the nineteenth century people came 
from Europe because of political and religious persecution. 
Before 1850 the Irish came in large numbers; the Ger- 
mans and other races came after the Revolution of 1848; 
and the Jews have come all through the century because 
of the greater freedom they enjoyed in the United States 
than in Europe. All these classes craved freedom and 
they desired to be let alone. 

The resources of the United States, as compared with 
Europe, were such that it was relatively easy to earn a 
living here. The trials of the pioneer were, of course, 
hard, but his prosperity depended on his industry, 
frugality, and initiative. The children of the immigrant 
usually attained a higher economic station in life than 
that in which their parents lived and that in which they 
were born. It became apparent to them that any one 
could rise in America if he was worthy, that is, if he had 


ability, industry, and initiative, and that there were no 
barriers whatever to any heights which a person might 
attain if he had superior qualities in him. It was like- 
wise concluded that if an individual failed, his failure was 
due to personal causes, shiftlessness, drinking, gambling, 
etc., and the average citizen had but little sympathy for 
those who failed. 

Under these circumstances there was a definite bias 
against helping the needy unless it was very apparent 
that they were victims of misfortune. When such was 
the case, especially in communities outside of the large 
cities, it was assumed that the neighborly spirit could be 
relied on to take care of the cases of real need. At first 
public relief began with the farming out of the worthy 
poor and their children. When these classes became too 
numerous to be taken care of by this method, county 
poorhouses were established. In private philanthropy, 
associations known as provident societies or associations 
for improving the conditions of the poor, were formed in 
cities to supplement the relief given by public philan- 
thropy. Prior to 1875 no large amounts were given 
either by public or private philanthropy because rela- 
tively little was needed, and because the social philosophy 
of the time in America stood in the way of adequately 
taking care of those in need. 

Within the last sixty years even individualistic 
America is coming to appreciate that there are causes of 
need and failures in social adjustment not due to personal 
causes, and that socially we are responsible for many if 
not most of the failures because we have not given 
adequate attention to the causes of disease, poverty, 
crime, and other maladjustments. We are beginning 
also to see that because our standard of living is higher in 
America than in Europe and because of other reasons 
there is a greater need for social work here than in 
Europe. Poverty is there often too sodden, too hopeless, 


to warrant any ameliorative effort beyond relief of 
distress in its more acute forms. Peasant life on the 
Continent, regardless of the country in which it is found, 
has its limitations in welfare. The resources of the soil 
are such that it is difficult to see how a much higher 
standard of living can be attained than that which now 
prevails. In towns and cities where factory production 
prevails and w r here the wage earners work in stores, the 
limitations on welfare seem to be nearly as fixed as they 
are in the rural communities. 

In the United States, although much is to be desired in 
a better standard of living for the rank and file, the 
situation is not so hopeless. Our capacity to produce 
has been increased to such an extent within the last 
twenty years by the improvement of machinery and by a 
better organization of productive forces, that it is now 
possible to produce all we need while the productive 
forces remain idle more than one-fourth of the time. 
This points very definitely in the direction of fewer work- 
ing days a week and a shorter working day. Moreover, 
if the annual wealth produced by the United States were 
more equitably divided, a satisfactory standard of living 
could be guaranteed every able-bodied industrious frugal 
wage earner without resort to charity. Because of the 
opportunity of improving the welfare of the masses of 
the people of the United States at the present time, there 
is great need now for welfare work which will protect the 
interests of the wage-earning classes and obtain legisla- 
tion which will secure a more nearly equitable distribu- 
tion of the national dividend. 

The rapid growth of American cities, the continual 
shifting of population in the United States from section 
to section and especially from country to city, the con- 
stant changing of wants and methods of satisfying new 
wants, all make individual and social adjustment diffi- 
cult. With these constant changes and fluctuations, 


failures in adjustment will be frequent, and consequently 
the need for social work will be great. 

Producers as a class have yet to discover that their best 
markets are to be found in the demands of independent, 
thrifty, prosperous consumers. Since a poverty-stricken 
population must restrict itself to a few plain commodities, 
its demand for goods has little significance to producers. 

The political organization in the United States makes 
the unification of social work difficult. The centralized 
unit of public social work is the state, and there are 
forty-eight states. There is consequently unity only to 
the extent that the social legislation and the social policies 
of one state are copied by the others. As a matter of 
fact, there is much in common in social legislation 
and social policies in the different states. Each state 
has its subdivisions county, township, and city to 
each of which is delegated or is permitted a certain class 
or kind of welfare work. In these respects, in the lesser 
subdivisions the public welfare work in the various states 

In private philanthropy there is much more uniformity 
in welfare work throughout the country. Private 
philanthropy is more scientific than public philanthropy; 
it observes the laws of the applied social sciences more 
carefully, and consequently does the same sort of work 
in all places where it functions, whether in New York or 
in California. Moreover, the various organizations 
engaged in private philanthropy are bound together 
in national associations which tend to make their work 
more uniform and to apply the best practices everywhere. 

The first chapter of Herbert Spencer's volume on the 
study of sociology, written in 1873, which was the begin- 
ning of his notable work on the principles of sociology, 
bears this significant title, "Our Need of It." In this 
chapter he points out in a striking manner the importance 
of a science of society for social guidance. Ignorant, 


unifoumed people, he reminds us, state positively, even 
dogmatically, what the social policy should be covering 
complex social phenomena concerning which they are 
densely ignorant. Since Spencer wrote this chapter there 
has been but little change in the cocksureness of the man 
on the streets , concerning matters about which, in the 
nature of the case, he can know but little. The need of a 
science of social relations is as great as when Spencer 
began his notable work, and the need of a profession 
(social work) to apply what we already know of a science 
of social relations is as great as the need of a science of 


There is nothing new in the experience which the 
professional schools of social work are having in the 
training of social workers. This experience has been 
duplicated by the older professions of law, medicine, 
education, and engineering. The apprenticeship method 
of approach to the profession has always preceded the 
method of systematic training. 

There was a time when the young aspirant for a place in 
the medical profession took a position in the doctor's 
office. In this capacity he read the doctor's books, rode 
with him when he visited his cases, and observed his 
methods on sick calls. He watched the doctor carefully 
when the latter treated his patients in his office and when 
he performed operations. After a time as a result of 
these experiences the aspirant, too, became a doctor. 
This method of acquiring a professional education in 
medicine gradually gave way to the private school, and 
it in turn to the university medical college with its 
systematic training, its clinics, its laboratories, and its 
hospitals. The attainment of this stage required time, 
the accumulation of a literature, the development of 
scientific knowledge, and great progress in the art of 
applying scientific knowledge to specific cases of disease. 

In the legal profession the young student read law in 
the office of the lawyer, observed the handling of clients, 
and noted the advice given them as they came to the 
lawyer's office. He attended the sessions of the courts 
to learn the methods of procedure which prevailed there, 
and afterwards, upon motion of some attorney, was 



admitted to the bar. He became what is known even 
yet in legal circles as a case lawyer that is, he learned 
what he needed to know about his case after it came to 
him. The necessity for systematic and rigid bar 
examinations is a matter of recent years. The appren- 
ticeship method of becoming a lawyer gradually gave 
way to the private law school, and it in turn to the 
university law college, with its professional teachers, its 
systematic courses of study, its case method of instruc- 
tion. These changes came very slowly as there were 
always reactionaries in the legal profession who con- 
tended that the best way to learn law was by the appren- 
ticeship method. In nearly all states now the passing of 
a rigid state bar examination even by those who graduate 
from high-grade law colleges, is a necessary requisite to 
admission to the legal profession. 

The social workers w r ho are over-zealous to accomplish 
a high state of efficiency in professional training for social 
work are hereby reminded of the long period of struggle of 
both the medical and legal professions in attaining their 
present status. 

The National Conference of Charities and Corrections, 
which was organized in 1873, was in existence twenty-four 
years before Miss Mary E. Richmond went to the national 
conference at Toronto in 1897 to make her plea for the 
establishment of a Training School in Applied Philan- 
thropy. During all these years social workers became 
such through the apprenticeship route, and there was 
really no serious thought of their acquiring knowledge or 
skill in any other way. Some social agencies which had a 
number of apprentices in the office at one time formed 
reading classes for the study of social literature, and a 
certain period each week was often given over to reports 
on readings and discussions. Even today, over thirty 
years after this plea was made, many more persons 
become social workers through the apprenticeship route 


than through training in the schools. The method of 
assigning readings to novices employed by social agencies 
and of setting aside a period each week for discussions 
is still in vogue. 

In her epoch-making address Miss Richmond pointed 
out the importance of social workers' having definite 

If an agent of a relief society has occasion to confer with 
the head of a foundling asylum, is it not likely that the ends 
they have in view, that the principles underlying their work, 
that the very meanings which they attach to our technical 
terms, will prove to be quite at variance? What an incal- 
culable gain to humanity when those who are doctoring social 
diseases in many departments of charitable work shall have 
found a common ground of agreement, and be forced to recog- 
nize certain established principles as underlying all effective 
service? Not immediately, of course, but slowly and steadily 
such a common ground could be established, I believe, by a 
training school for professional social workers. 

With reference to the breadth of training of the school, 
she said : 

We feel, of course, that every form of charity could be 
improved by a better knowledge of charity organization 
principles; but it seems to us of the first importance, also, 
that our agents should have a better all-round knowledge 
of other forms of charity. The school that is to be most help- 
ful to our charity organization agents, therefore, must be 
established on a broad basis, and be prepared to train relief 
agents, child saving agents, institution officials, and other 
charitable specialists. 

As to the chief aims of the school she said: 

To give our professional charity workers better habits of 
thought and higher ideals, this should be one chief aim of 
our School of Applied Philanthropy. I need not say how 
slowly a good school grows, or how slowly it makes its influence 


felt. But, if these twenty years have taught us anything, 
they have taught us that plans which are to find their full 
realization the year after next are not worth initiating. The 
chief and perhaps the only claim which this rough sketch of a 
plan can have to consideration is to be found in the willingness 
of its advocates to leave much to the future. 

In the summer of 1898, the New York Charity Organ- 
ization Society organized a six weeks' training course in 
New York City in the Charities building. This school 
was continued for seven summers and had an average 
attendance of approximately thirty. Those who 
attended were chiefly social workers of limited experience 
who came to improve their efficiency. Trips were plan- 
ned almost daily to the different types of institutions and 
agencies, and prominent social workers from New York 
and other cities gave single lectures or groups of lectures 
on the field of social work involving their experience. 

In 1903 the New York Charity Organization Society 
extended its program to include a six months' winter 
course. The following year the society under its com- 
mittee on philanthropic education organized the New 
York school of philanthropy and made Dr. Edward T. 
Devine, the general secretary of the New York Charity 
Organization Society, its first director. A full year's 
course was planned consisting both of class work and field 
work intended primarily for the benefit of those who had 
no social experience. The classroom teachers or lec- 
turers were practically all social workers. 

In the same year, 1904, a School for Social Workers, 
maintained by Simmons College and Harvard University, 
was organized under Dr. Jeffrey R. Brackett, president of 
the Department of Charities and Corrections of 
Baltimore. Dr. Brackett served as director of this school 
for a period of sixteen years. The character and aims 
of this school were almost identical with those of the 
New York school. 


Under the leadership of Mr. Graham Taylor of the 
Chicago Commons, the Chicago Institute of Social 
Science was established in 1903 as a part of the extension 
department of the University of Chicago, to train social 
workers. Nearly all the students who attended were 
employed by the social agencies of Chicago. In 1906 
the Chicago Commons assumed responsibility for the 
administrative expenses of the Institute. In 1907 a 
department of research under Julia C. Lathrop and 
Sophonisba P. Breckenridge was established. In 1908 
the school was organized on an independent basis and 
incorporated as the Chicago School of Civics and 
Philanthropy under Mr. Graham Taylor. It continued 
under this organization until it was taken over by the 
University of Chicago in 1920. 

Regular classroom work was begun by the St. Louis 
School of Philanthropy in 1907 when a fifteen weeks' 
course was offered. The first full year's course was not 
begun until the autumn of 1908. The school was 
organized by the social workers who desired to provide 
training for themselves, but it had some affiliation with 
the University of Missouri chiefly through the influence 
of Dr. C. A. Ellwood. Dr. Thomas J. Riley of the 
University of Missouri became the first director of the 
school. In 1909 the name of the school was changed 
to the School of Social Economy, and the affiliation of the 
school was transferred from the University of Missouri to 
Washington University, St. Louis, with the appointment 
of Dr. Riley, the director of the school, as professor of 
sociology at Washington University. The school was 
conducted by Washington University until 1915, and 
after one year of independent existence, it was again 
affiliated with the University of Missouri, where it has 
been since conducted in its extension department. 

The Philadelphia Training School was organized in 
1909 by the social workers of Philadelphia as a training 


school for their own social workers. The teaching staff 
consisted of some of the leading social workers of the 
city, and the field work was provided by the social 
agencies of the city. In 1916 the school was incorporated 
as the Pennsylvania School for Social Service, and a 
greatly enlarged program was planned. 

The Richmond School of Social Work and Public 
Health at Richmond, Virginia, was organized in 1917 by 
Dr. H. H. Hibbs, Jr., its first director. This was the 
first training school in the South for social and public 
health work. In 1919 a department providing training 
in recreation, physical training, arid playground work 
was added. In 1919 William and Mary College organ- 
ized an extension department in the city of Richmond, 
and in the following year, 1920, the extension Department 
and the School of Social Work and Public Health were 
placed under one management by the appointment of 
Dr. Hibbs, director of the latter, as director of the 
extension department. The school was not completely 
under the jurisdiction of the college until the year 
1925-1926, when the college was able to provide fully for 
its maintenance and operation. 

Another Southern experiment in the training of social 
workers was the Texas School of Civics and Philan- 
thropy, which was organized by the social agencies of 
Houston as an independent school. It was taken over 
by Rice Institute in 1918, when its director, Dr. Stuart A. 
Queen, resigned to enter the military service. 


While all except the Pennsylvania School had uni- 
versity relations at one time or another in their history, 
these university affiliations meant little or nothing in 
the organization and carrying on of their work. 1 In 

1 This statement does not apply to the Richmond School. This school 
maintained university standards when it became an organic part of 
William and Mary College. 


some instances the university supported the school 
financially, but in most cases the university affiliation 
was used to give it a degree of respectability which it 
would not have enjoyed otherwise. These schools were 
all organized by social workers who planned their 
curriculums and determined their policies, aims, and 
educational systems. 

There was very much in common in all these schools. 
They were all large city schools, and their students came 
very largely from the community in which they were 
situated. The one possible exception to this was the New 
York School, which has always had some students from 
different parts of the country. In many, perhaps most, 
instances the students had experience in social work. 
Such topics as poverty, the history of poor relief, the 
state in relation to charity, public and private institu- 
tions, constructive social work, child-helping agencies, 
the treatment of the criminal, improvement of living 
conditions, the scope of charity, preventive policies, 
agencies and methods, etc., were generally treated. The 
large schools had more offerings than the smaller ones 
and announced curricula of training for more occupations 
than the smaller ones. 

During the period under discussion a more definite 
technique in family welfare had been worked out than in 
any other field of social work. Because of this and 
because more positions were available in this line of work 
than in any other, family welfare work was emphasized in 
all the schools. The case-work course gradually devel- 
oped in which actual cases covering a wide range of 
problems were presented to the students for solution. 
In other lines of social work, such as the organization of 
community programs, the technique of organized recrea- 
tion, and social work administration, etc., no definite 
techniques had developed, and the schools were handi- 
capped in giving adequate instruction. 


As social workers were needed for positions which were 
becoming available everywhere it became an ambition 
of the schools to give their students a technique and 
experience which would enable them to accept positions 
of some responsibility immediately after completing the 
work of the school. For this reason field work was 
emphasized. As a matter of fact the most substantial 
work offered in some, perhaps most, of the schools was 
the field work given by some of the agencies affiliated 
with them. At the outset the field work was badly 
organized. An attempt was made to give the student 
experience as an understudy and then later some 
experience in solving problems which came up in the 
agency, so that as soon as his course was completed he 
could accept a position of responsibility either as a case 
worker in an agency, or in some other position of respon- 
sibility in an agency. To make the student immediately 
efficient as a social worker upon graduating was one of 
the chief aims of the school. So strongly have some of 
the older social workers been imbued with this idea 
of a school for social workers that even now when they 
discover that a graduate from a school is not an efficient 
social worker at the time of graduation, they think 
that something is wrong with the school. 

Since many of the students who attended these schools 
were graduates of colleges, the impression was often 
given that the schools were graduate schools. High- 
school graduates were admitted to these schools, and, 
since some of them admitted students upon a written 
test, students were admitted who were not high school 
graduates. No preprofessional courses were required 
in order to enter these schools, although training in the 
social sciences was recommended by some of them. 

The class work of these schools was seldom taught by 
professional educators, but by social workers who had 
little or no experience in teaching. Often courses were 


taught by lecturers who came in from a variety of social 
agencies. Where this method of instruction prevailed 
there was much duplication and emphasis of non-essen- 
tials, the material was often badly classified, and the 
courses lacked unity. Those who have had experience 
in bringing outside lecturers to the classroom in social 
work or any other line know that unless the lectures 
are carefully outlined all the shortcomings above desig- 
nated will appear. 

During this period the trade-school rather than the 
professional-school theory of education prevailed. The 
students were taught to be craftsmen. An attempt was 
made to teach them the techniques of the occupations 
they were preparing to enter. They were trained to be 
efficient in the occupation they were to pursue at the 
time they graduated from the school. No effort was 
made to lay a broad foundation for their work by giving 
them preprofessional courses or requiring that they 
should have had such courses before they entered the 
school. Moreover, it was not required that students 
should have the necessary foundation course to both 
the preprofessional and the professional courses of the 


As has been pointed out, the social workers led the way 
in making provision for the training of social workers in 
independent schools of social work and in schools with a 
nominal connection with a university. In such schools 
the policies and ideals of social workers were carried out. 
Some gestures were made in the last decade of the nine- 
teenth century in the direction of social-work training 
by Wisconsin, by the Hartford Theological Seminary, 
and by the University of Chicago under Professor C. R. 


Henderson. 1 Shortly after the first private schools of 
social work were organized, a number of the universities 
began offering courses in applied sociology and courses in 
social technology with the purpose of giving training to 
students preparing for careers in social work. 

The work developed at the Ohio State University is 
perhaps typical of that developed in other universities, 
especially the state universities. In 1906 the department 
of economics and sociology published a bulletin announc- 
ing training in business administration and social service. 
In this bulletin it was stated that the 

development of charity and philanthropy along scientific 
lines has opened up a new career to the trained student. In 
this field of work the city university has a great advantage. 

The bulletin then goes on to list the public welfare 
institutions, state, county, and municipal, situated in or 
near Columbus. The announcement concludes with the 
following paragraph: 

In the general course dealing with dependent, defective, 
and delinquent classes, the students are required to visit 
the various state and county welfare institutions and agencies 
in Columbus. Opportunities are afforded to do practical 
settlement work, charity investigation work in connection 
with the associated charities, and work in connection with the 
juvenile Court. The studies in this group are arranged to 
combine practical work with the theoretical work, so that 
students upon leaving the university may take positions of 
responsibility in settlement, charity, and general philan- 
thropic work. 

In the curriculum in social service in the sophomore 
year, students were required to take a year's work in 
sociology including one term's work on the principles of 
sociology, a one-term course on the family, and a third- 
term course on primitive society. In this year they were 

1 See STEINEB, American Journal of Sociology, pp. 493-494, January, 


also required to take the fundamental course in economics, 
a course in American history, and a course in physiog- 
raphy. In the junior year the fundamental course in 
philosophy and psychology were required. 

Before graduating, the student was required to take 
courses in dependents and defectives, criminology, and 
organized philanthropy, besides courses dealing with 
racial problems and a seminary or investigative course in 
which each student was required to write a thesis on some 
subject of social significance based upon his own investi- 
gations. These students were also required to take 
courses in accounting and statistics, social psychology, 
and the theory of mental development. At this time 
university credit was not given for field work. Students 
were expected to get their practice work with some social 
agency in the summer between the junior and senior 
years or to do their practice work while carrying their 
junior and senior work. Those desiring to go into social- 
settlement work often resided in the settlement during 
their senior year and sometimes during both their junior 
and senior years. 

By 1910 the social-service training at the Ohio State 
University had taken more definite form. In the 
bulletin of this year the following statement was made, 

The state of Ohio has thousands of paid and volunteer 
social workers, most of whom are untrained for their work. 
If it is the duty of the state university to train its students 
for efficient citizenship, it should offer facilities for the training 
of professional and volunteer social workers. The new 
ideas of philanthropy, if put in practice, would reduce the 
number of dependents and criminals, and make more efficient 
the state and county institutions and the private charities. 

A year of field work was offered for credit with some 
social agency under the supervision of the agency and a 
member of the department, and two years 7 work was 
offered in modern charity, preventive philanthropy, 


poverty, and criminology. One year's work in the 
organization and remuneration of labor and labor 
legislation and one year's work in applied psychology, 
including abnormal psychology, were required. 

These courses were gradually expanded until the 
College of Commerce and Journalism was organized in 
1916, at which time a curriculum for the training of 
social workers leading to the degree of bachelor of science 
in social administration was adopted as an organic part 
of the college. 

To the extent that the work at the Ohio State Univer- 
sity typifies the social-work teaching of the universities, 
the contrast between the social-work training of the 
private school of philanthropy and of the university is 
marked. In the latter the emphasis is on fundamental 
courses in the social and biological sciences and on the semi- 
professional courses in applied sociology and psychology 
with a minimum of field work. In the former the emphasis 
is on field-work and case-work technique with little or no 
emphasis on fundamental courses and the so-called pre- 
professional courses in applied sociology. In the latter 
the work was taught primarily by professional teachers, 
in the former by social workers. In the latter students 
were not expected to be efficient social workers as soon as 
they graduated, as the chief interest of the school was in 
the growth of the student and in his status eight or ten 
years after he graduated. In the former emphasis was 
placed on the efficiency of the student on the completion 
of his course, since social agencies were ready to take on 
social workers, and their judgment of the school was 
determined by the efficiency of its graduates as soon as 
they got them. 

The World War gave a tremendous impetus to the 
training of social workers by both groups of schools but 
especially by the university. Many of the members of 


university faculties went into war activities in both 
industrial and social work. Having need for many 
social workers in all communities, the National Red 
Cross organized training schools in many parts of the 
country to offer six weeks' courses for the training of 
home service workers. Fifteen universities participated 
in the giving of these courses, some of which had no 
place hitherto in their curriculums for the training 
of social workers. These courses were definitely outlined 
at the headquarters of the National Red Cross, confer- 
ences were held at Washington with the directors of the 
schools in which the purposes and plans of the courses 
were discussed, and field work was provided by the local 
chapter of the Red Cross in the community where the 
course was given. From one to four such courses were 
given by each institution. 

Most of the institutions which gave these courses saw a 
new opportunity for service, and when the war was over 
reorganized their courses of study so as to include train- 
ing for social workers. 


In the summer of 1919 the New York School of Social 
Work invited all the schools then offering training in 
social work to meet at the headquarters of the New 
York School to discuss problems of mutual interest to all 
of them. A few days later representatives of these 
schools met at Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the time the 
national conference on social work met there, and organ- 
ized the Association of Training Schools of Social Work. 
The institutions which had representatives at the New 
York conference and later became charter members of 
the association were as follows : The New York School of 
Social Work, the Boston School of Social Work, the 
Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, the St. Louis 


School of Social Work, the Richmond School of Social 
Work, and the Pennsylvania School of Social Work; 
the following universities and colleges were also repre- 
sented at this conference: Bryn Mawr College, Carnegie 
Institute of Technology, Smith College, University of 
Chicago, University of Minnesota, the Ohio State 
University, University of Pittsburgh, University of 
Toronto, and Western Reserve University. 

The growth of this movement may be seen from the 
number of members of the association in July, 1931. 

1. Atlanta School of Social Work 

2. Bryn Mawr College 

3. University of California 

4. Carnegie Institute of Technology 

5. University of Chicago 

6. University of Cincinnati 

7. Fordham University 

8. Indiana University 

9. Loyola University 

10. McGill University 

11. University of Michigan 

12. University of Minnesota 

13. University of Missouri 

14. National Catholic School of Social Service 

15. New York School of Social Work 

16. University of North Carolina 

17. The Ohio State University 

18. University of Oregon 

19. Pennsylvania School of Social and Health Work 

20. Simmons College, School of Social Work 

21. Smith College Training School for Social Work 

22. School of Social Welfare, University of Southern California 

23. Training School for Jewish Social Work, New York City 

24. Tulane University 

25. Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. 

26. School of Applied Social Sciences, Western Reserve University 

27. College of William and Mary, School of Social Work and Public 

Health, Richmond, Va. 

28. The University of Wisconsin 


Aside from these there are the following schools not 
members of the Association : 

1. Dallas Institute of Social Education 

2. Rice Institute, Houston, Texas 

3. Boston University, School of Religious Education and Social 


4. George Washington University, Washington, D. C. 

5. Harvard University, Department of Ethics 

6. University of Louisville, School of Social Work and Occupa- 

tional Therapy 

7. University of Oklahoma 

8. University of Washington, Seattle 

The private schools of social work in existence when the 
association was founded in 1919 have tended to establish 
university affiliations. The Chicago School of Civics and 
Philanthropy has been taken over by the University of 
Chicago; the Richmond School of Social Work is an 
organic part of William and Mary College; and the St. 
Louis School of Social Work has been absorbed by Wash- 
ington University, St. Louis. The Simmons College 
School of Social Work is the Boston School of Social 
Work with little or no organic change. The New York 
School of Social Work and the Philadelphia School of 
Health and Social Work have no university affiliations. 
A number of private schools without university affiliation 
have emerged since 1919 as, for example, the National 
Catholic Service School, the Atlanta School of Social 
Work, the Dallas Institute of Social Education, and the 
Training School for Jewish Social Work. The last three 
are not in the national association. 

There has been but little change since 1919 in the num- 
ber of private schools giving training in social work, but 
the number of universities offering training in social work 
has increased from nine to twenty-two schools in the 
association. If the schools not in the association, offering 
training in social work, be included, there are at present 
(1931) thirty colleges and universities offering training in 
social work. 


Professor Tufts of the University of Chicago writing in 
1922 on " Education and Training for Social Work/' 1 
gives four types of organization of instruction for social 

(1) The separate school independent of connection with 
college or university; (2) the definitely organized professional 
school connected with a college or university; (3) a definite 
organization of courses under the charge of a single dean or 
other officer of administration and with a staff of instructors 
unified for the purpose of such organization, although having 
their own departmental status; (4) a loose aggregation or 
grouping of courses in some one department or some several 
departments, with little if any administrative unity and with 
a minimum of professional direction. 

He then concludes, 

Obviously the first two types are in a class by themselves as 
definitely professional schools. The last type can claim very 
little of the proper professional environment or purpose. The 
third type is somewhat intermediate, and is likely to depend 
for its character very largely upon the personality of the 
administrative officer in charge. 

He reaches the further conclusion that 
. . . both purposes of the professional school are more likely 
to be met by institutions of the first and second type. 

In a former page he has stated that 

. . . the most obvious purpose is that it should fit men and 
women to become skilled social workers [and] that a second 
function of the professional school, hardly less important, if 
indeed it is less important than the first, is the development of 
the field of professional work through scholarly research and 

We accept most heartily the purposes of the profes- 
sional school as stated by Professor Tufts. Whether 

1 TUFTS, " Education and Training for Social Work," p. 107, Russell 
Sage Foundation, New York. #?- ^ 


these purposes of the professional school are best met 
by institutions of the first and second types above referred 
to must be determined by a more thorough analysis of the 
different types of schools than Professor Tufts has made. 

A number of observations concerning these types are 
pertinent. In the first place, there may be little or no 
difference between the first two types, the separate school 
independent of connection with a college or university, 
and the definitely organized professional school connected 
with a college or university. Many, perhaps all, of the 
separate schools have sought connection with universities 
because of the supposed advantage in status or for finan- 
cial or other benefits that this university relation- 
ship would give them. In nearly all these cases the 
independent school had no thought of modifying its real 
organization, its character, or its methods of professional 
education, and in most cases the college or university did 
not require any modification of its organization or 
program when the school was affiliated with it. 

In other cases when the college or university organized 
its own professional school of social work, it developed its 
school almost in complete imitation of the independent 
schools which had been set up by social workers and in 
accordance with the philosophy of professional education 
upon which the social workers had determined. This 
held true with reference to the content and character of 
the curriculum, the amount and kind of field work 
required, the kind and character of the professional 
courses given, the number and amount of fundamental 
courses required, and the number and character of pre- 
professional courses required. Not all the universities, 
however, organized their professional schools in complete 
imitation of those which had been set up under the 
dominance of social workers and in imitation of the 
private schools. Some of them adopted their own 
philosophy of professional education and set up curricula 


and employed professional educators and social workers 
in conformity with this philosophy. 

One group of schools, Number 2 of ProfessorTufts's 
classification, namely, the definitely organized profes- 
sional school connected with a college or university, is 
almost identical with the separate independent school, 
whereas the other is very different from it. Which class 
under Number 2, may we ask, has Professor Tufts in 
mind? The second class under Number 2 is much more 
like his Number 3 class, "a definite organization of 
courses under the charge of a single dean or other officer of 
administration and with a staff of instructors unified for 
the purpose of such organization, although having also 
their own departmental status. " 

Whether the two purposes of the professional school 
are better met by the independent school and the first 
class under Number 2 or by the second class under 
Number 2 can only be answered by a more thorough 
analysis on broad and fundamental principles of the two 
types of schools. 

Which fits men and women best to become skilled 
social workers? Which is most desired, immediate or 
remote returns? The first class of schools undoubtedly 
fits them better for immediate returns. Is this the great 
desideratum in professional education? I do not believe 
that it is. 

Professional education does not necessarily involve 
teaching to do specific things. It is very important to 
give the student in social training the fundamental 
principles of the social sciences and of psychology and 
biology, subjects furnishing an excellent discipline in 
clear thinking on social questions. Moreover, give him 
the broad outlook and the wholesome point of view 
of life which the successful social worker should have and 
which are the natural result of the preprof essional courses. 
Finally, give him the good training in the principles of 


social work which will enable him to employ clear think- 
ing with a wide grasp of principles to the solution of social 
problems as they arise from day to day in his work. 
Teaching him these is much more important than teach- 
ing him the specific techniques of different occupations. 
The possessor of the techniques will please the social 
executive more at the outset, but he will not grow as 
rapidly as a social worker, and at the end of five or six 
years will be greatly distanced by the student whose 
professional training has been based on fundamental 

The difference between the two types of training is the 
difference between the professional school of education in 
the university today, which bases its principles of educa- 
tion on good, substantial background courses, and the old 
type of normal school which attempted to teach the 
technology of teaching. 

Since Professor Tufts wrote, the faculty members of the 
different types of schools have been very active in produc- 
tive scholarship. Much has been written in the last five 
years which is of great value in professional education. 
Time alone will enable us to judge the relative merits of 
what has been written. 

Professor Tufts refers to the fourth type of organiza- 
tion as "a loose aggregation or grouping of courses in some 
one department or from several departments, with little if 
any administrative unity and with a minimum of profes- 
sional direction.' 7 Most of the social-work training in 
the university quite naturally originated with depart- 
ments of sociology and under the inspiration of professors 
of sociology. The professors of applied sociology have 
usually cooperated in offering education for social work. 
Reference has already been made to the impetus to this 
branch of education given by the World War. After the 
war professors in different universities saw an oppor- 
tunity for a popular appeal by offering courses in applied 


sociology and psychology, and advertised training courses 
for social workers. Some of the universities began adver- 
tising courses of this kind without being able to offer 
anything substantial to the social worker. Some of the 
courses offered were old courses rechristened with a 
popular appeal, with little or no change in subject matter. 
Some that began in this way gradually improved their 
offerings and faculty, changed their organization to meet 
modern requirements, and are now giving substantial 
training for social workers. 

It is a matter of considerable interest that professors 
of sociology who have been interested in giving courses in 
applied sociology or social technology to undergraduate 
students have frequently met with difficulty. Depart- 
ments of sociology are usually in colleges of liberal arts, 
and deans and faculties of liberal arts have often been 
opposed to the inclusion of technical or practical courses 
in a curriculum leading to the A.B. degree. At the Ohio 
State University a great deal was said about the purity 
of the arts degree when courses of a technical nature in 
both economics and sociology were offered, before a 
separate organization was set up for this line of work. 
Those interested in offering courses in technical social 
work have often been compelled to set up independent 
organizations, such as schools of social work, either within 
or without the liberal arts college. Others have been 
compelled to postpone their line of work until the A.B. 
degree was taken, and then organize a graduate course 
in social work. Opinions may differ as to whether social 
work should be taught as a graduate or undergraduate 
subject, but there can be no difference of opinion on 
this : that if it is taught as undergraduate work, a separate 
organization, such as a school or college, should be set up 
for its administration. A better esprit de corps can be 
developed where courses are grouped under one organiza- 
tion and where students may be assembled in separate 


units for the teaching of technical and professional 

The sociologist who has been interested in giving 
courses in applied sociology and social technology has 
often been made uncomfortable by the very definite 
but short-sighted antipathy between many social workers 
and some of the older professors of pure sociology. 
The social worker who had no sociology but an elemen- 
tary course twenty or twenty-five years ago, and who 
is ignorant of the later developments of the science, 
naturally has some prejudice against sociology as a 
subject which has little practical value to him. Con- 
sequently, in some of the independent schools of social 
work organized under the influence of the social workers, 
sociology is neither a prerequisite study to the training 
school of social work, nor is it required before graduation. 
It would seem to me to be just as inconsistent for the 
school of social work not to require a course in sociology 
which deals with the structure and functions of society 
and the laws of human association as a prerequisite to the 
technical courses in social work as it would be for the 
college of medicine not to require physiology as a pre- 
requisite to the study of medicine. 

Some of the older professors of pure sociology have 
viewed with misgivings training in courses in social 
technology and even courses in applied sociology. They 
have assumed that there was no theoretical knowledge 
concerning the subject matter and that workers and 
teachers in these fields were influenced by their senti- 
ments and emotions and are engaged in occupations that 
are relatively unworthy. 

This group of sociologists is rapidly diminishing in 
importance with the rise of a younger group of sociologists 
who are making sociology a real science rather than a 
social philosophy. 


If social work becomes a profession, as we believe it 
will in time, it will be taught in schools and colleges in 
universities just as other kinds of professional education 
are given in the schools and colleges of universities. The 
private schools of social work will disappear as the private 
professional schools of law and medicine have disappeared, 
except those of relatively low grade. When education 
for professional social work becomes in a thoroughgoing 
way a university function, then university standards will 
prevail in social-work training. 


One method of dignifying a calling or an occupation is 
to say that it is scientific or else that it is based on scien- 
tific principles. In conference circles in recent years 
we hear much of scientific charity, and the claim is 
repeatedly made that social work is scientific. It is this 
claim which I wish to analyze in this chapter. Is modern 
charity, or social work, scientific? 

The science which should have most to do with social 
work is sociology. Having a very definite interest in 
both sociology and social work, I have been much disap- 
pointed in the attitude of mind of some of the leaders in 
each camp. Some of the older sociologists are repre- 
sented by either or both of the two points of view 
following: Some believe that sociology is a pure science 
and is wholly devoid of any ideas of utilitarianism. 
According to their point of view, if sociology serves a 
useful purpose, it is purely accidental. Others dislike 
the association of sociology with applied sociology and 
social work and feel that the men in sociology who are 
interested in applied sociology and social work are tom- 
myrotters and are a more or less disreputable class of 
people. I am happy to say that the sociologists who 
represent either or both of the above points of view are 
rapidly diminishing in number. 

On the other hand, some of the leading social workers 
look askance at sociology. If they studied the subject at 
all they studied it at a time when sociology was a social 
philosophy and almost totally devoid of human interest. 
They are inclined to believe that psychology and 



economics are of some value to the social worker in 
solving some of his problems but that the utility of 
sociology to the social worker is questionable. Some of 
the professional schools of social work reflecting this point 
of view do not require the students in training for social 
work to take Sociology either as a prerequisite to their 
training or as a part of their training as social workers. 
Most of these are either private schools of social work or 
else schools which have been superimposed on universities. 

Both of these points of view are wrong. If sociology is 
a science of society instead of a social philosophy, then its 
study should be as valuable to the student in training for 
social work as physiology is to the medical student. If 
scientific methods are used in sociology, the laws of 
group life, the relation of the individual to the group, the 
laws of social control, the factors entering into and 
involved in social progress, etc., should be of great value 
to the social worker. 

Social work is very much misunderstood. The layman 
on the streets has a vague and inadequate idea regarding 
the work of the social worker and his problems. I have 
been hoping that some one would give us a definition of 
social work which would be simple, concise, full of mean- 
ing, and easily understood. I am not sanguine over the 
value of definitions, but I have been looking for some 
time for a successful interpretation to the public of social 
work. Our failure to provide such an interpretation is 
extremely serious, since the success of social work depends 
to a great extent on public appreciation and public 

Social work is frequently defined to the complete satis- 
faction of the social worker. Take these statements as 
illustrations, the first from Dr. Devine's " Social Work. " 

In this book 

. . . social work is used to denote the whole complicated net- 
work of activities which center around the social problems of 


poverty, disease, crime, and other socially abnormal condi- 
tions. The unifying element in social work lies in these com- 
mon social problems with which it is concerned, rather than 
in a common method or motive. 

Observe this clear-cut, succinct statement from Hal- 
bert's "What Is Professional Social Work. " 

Social work is the business of producing, changing or adjust- 
ing social organization and procedure in the interests of human 
welfare according to scientific standards. 

This definition is satisfactory to most social workers 
but is very inadequate for the layman. Moreover, it is 
not sufficiently comprehensive. Elsewhere in this vol- 
ume I too have defined social work, but my definition is 
not concise, brief, nor easily understood by the man on 
the streets. 

The popular conception of social work is as old as 
civilization itself, but the scientific approach to social 
work in the United States began only about sixty years 
ago. The first thirty years of social work in the United ( 
States were represented primarily by remedial care and 
institutional treatment. Institutions were established to 
house and care for children, dependent adults, the insane, 
the feeble-minded, the epileptic, the blind, and the deaf, 
and outdoor relief was given by public and private 
agencies to the dependent poor in their homes. 1 This 
was a period primarily of organizing and perfecting 
institution management for the protection, care, and 
comfort of the handicapped classes. This was a period, 
too, in which investigations were made into the causes and 
extent of poverty, crime, sickness, maladjustment, etc. 

Within this period two groups of social workers the 
social settlement workers and the family case workers 
went more deeply into the causes of the handicapped, and 

1 Institutional care for defective classes began, of course, much earlier. 


handled more scientifically the problems with which they 
were confronted, than other classes of social workers. 
This was due to the fact that the settlement workers lived 
among the people they served and thus had an intimate 
acquaintance with their problems. They had a first- 
hand knowledge of why people were poor, what poverty 
meant in housing and living conditions and in the absence 
of the conveniences and luxuries of life ; they knew also of 
the extent and of the seriousness of sickness and of the 
economic and social conditions which drive a larger per- 
centage than is their fair average into delinquency and 
often into careers of crime. The charity organization 
society or family case worker through visiting the homes 
of the poor and in attempting to work out a solution of 
their problems knew well the circumstances and forces 
with which they were surrounded. These two groups, 
then, within this period terminating with 1900, had a 
much more thorough knowledge than all other groups of 
social workers of the extent and significance of misery and 
were using methods which have recently become more 
general in working out solutions. 

Since 1900, campaigns of prevention have been 
launched. Studies of the last decade of the nineteenth 
century had made obvious the existence of social causes 
of poverty, disease, and crime from which it was almost 
impossible for the victims to escape. It was concluded 
from these that the wise thing was not to spend so much 
money in alleviating distress, in curing illness, and in 
reforming criminals but to proceed at once to remove 
the causes of poverty, of sickness, and of crime. 

Moreover, the environmentalists were in the saddle 
then, and much was hoped for in changing the environ- 
ment and in perfecting human institutions to make the 
world better. The advocates of heredity have since had 
their day, but the pendulum is beginning to swing slowly 
again in the direction of environment. 


In the interests of preventive philanthropy many laws 
have been passed, such as the compulsory-education laws 
guaranteeing to the youth a minimum education, child- 
labor laws preventing the employment of children under 
stipulated ages, in destructive occupations, laws restrict- 
ing the employment of women, and laws concerning the 
sanitary and other conditions under which both women 
and children are employed. We have had housing codes 
stipulating the minimum conditions under which people 
live, and we have had housing and factory inspectors to 
maintain minimum conditions under which people may 
live and work. Minimum-wage laws, laws providing 
insurance against industrial accidents, mothers' pension 
laws, old-age pensions laws, sick-insurance and unem- 
ployment-insurance laws have all been advocated in the 
interest of preventive philanthropy. Attempts have 
been made to control the exploiter. We have laws cen- 
soring amusements and controlling shark loans and pawn- 
shops, and many other laws. 

In preventive philanthropy greatest progress has been 
made in preventive medicine, in removing the causes of 
disease, in prolonging human life, and in mitigating 
human suffering. Least progress has been made in 
preventing delinquency, doubtless partially because the 
problems of delinquency are handled by a profession 
which makes few changes and looks to the past in deter- 
mining methods of procedure. 

The contrast between service philanthropy, the old 
philanthropy, and preventive philanthropy is well 
expressed by the late Professor Simon N. Patten in his 
book, "The New Basis of Civilization." Contrasting 
service altruism, the charity of personal service, with 
income altruism, the charity which makes gifts of money 
"for public and far reaching ends" a form of preventive 
philanthropy, he says: 


The difference is that which separates the old from the new 
charity. The one crossed the road to help the Samaritan 
after he had suffered under bad conditions of highway manage- 
ment; the other patrols the road and arrests the wayside 
thieves before the traveler falls among them. Service altruism 
binds the wounds, breathes forgiveness, and solaces the victims 
of recurring disasters without attacking their causes. Income 
altruism hews to their base, for it has the money power to 
police and to light the road to Jericho. 

It must be understood that there is no clear line of 
demarcation between service and preventive philan- 
thropy. Distress must always be alleviated, the unfor- 
tunates must always receive our tender solicitude. 
There is no antagonism between prevention and cure. 
No one understood this better than Professor Patten 
himself. The difference is one of emphasis only. 

The ambitions of the advocates of preventive 
philanthropy have not been realized in the preventive 
measures adopted since 1900. This is due to the fact 
that the removal of the so-called causes does not secure 
results mechanically. Specific agencies or instrumentali- 
ties which drag down may be removed, but something 
else is necessary of a constructive character to establish 
adequate attitudes of adjustment to a more normal way 
of life. And people must be reached individually. This 
is a contribution of the newer social work which began 
fifteen or twenty years ago. 

Take the illustration so often used before conferences of 
social workers in contrasting preventive with service 
philanthropy to emphasize the value of preventive 
philanthropy. I refer to the case of the ambulances at 
the foot of the cliff to care for those who fall over as 
representing the old philanthropy, and the building of the 
fence at the top of the cliff to keep people from falling 
over as representing preventive philanthropy. The 
newer philanthropy is not satisfied with the building of 


the fence at the top of a cliff by philanthropic agencies. 
If a fence is needed at the top of the cliff, why should not 
the people build it there themselves instead of waiting 
until philanthropic agencies build it? The newer philan- 
thropy will educate people to build fences at the top of all 
cliffs wherever danger awaits the unwary. The newer 
philanthropy will educate people to cooperate in remov- 
ing all dangers wherever possible and to place danger 
signals at all places where dangers cannot be removed. 

Whether the problem is an individual, a family, or a 
community problem, successful social work is based on 
thorough diagnosis. Take the instance of Douglas 
Darrant, one of the case studies of the Judge Baker 
Foundation studies of Boston. 

Douglas was a bright twelve-year-old boy living in a 
small New England town. His parents were of Scotch 
descent and eminently respectable. The father was in 
business, and he and the boy's mother exercised average 
surveillance over their son. The son had become a 
confirmed thief and the parents were at their wits 7 
ends to know why he should be a thief. In one of his 
escapades he fell into the hands of a state-wide social 
agency in 1919, which turned him over to the Judge Baker 
Foundation for study and diagnosis. According to 
their practice, both a mental and physical examination 
was given the boy, and a thorough and exhaustive case 
study made of him. It was discovered through the 
confession of Douglas that conditions existed in the small 
town where Douglas lived of which the grown-up people 
were not very well informed. It was learned that in his 
early youth he came under the influence of a gang of 
boys somewhat older than he, who indulged in bad sex 
practices and in minor thefts and taught and trained 
Douglas in their own habits. It was learned that there 
were groups of young boys and girls in the town who 
indulged in promiscuous relations without the knowledge 


of the older people of the town. The investigators 
became convinced that the morale of Douglas had been 
destroyed by excessive indulgence in sex practices and 
that his stealing was traceable directly to this cause. 
This conclusion is, of course, directly in line with other 
researches into the delinquencies of youth. 

Douglas' case having been successfully diagnosed, the 
investigators immediately proceeded to reclaim not only 
Douglas but the community in which he lived. 

Some time later the statement was made that 

The moral conditions in the town have been altered, it 
seems, in a very interesting way. The agency made some 
further investigation which corroborated Douglas' statements, 
and informed the minister and other prominent people, who 
said that they had some suspicion of these unfortunate affairs 
in the life of the young people, but had thought it too delicate 
a matter and too difficult to be approached either from the 
school or the church standpoint. The judge of the district 
stated that he had long felt that something ought to be done 
because of his having had to deal with two or three cases of 
illegitimacy. The chief of police said that it was his experi- 
ence that the influential people in town would not stand 
interference in their affairs. 

The story of the wonderful betterment of the moral condi- 
tions may be speedily told. The parents of Douglas communi- 
cated with other parents, who obtained corroboration of what 
Douglas had said from their own children, and these people 
formed clubs a fathers' and sons' club, and a group of women 
who looked after the girls. These organizations have done 
valiant service and have thoroughly altered the moral situa- 
tion through frank recognition of it, and through simple 
personally applied common-sense measures, particularly 
looking after the recreational activities of the young people. 

Douglas ceased his stealing and his other bad habits 
and his school record greatly improved. Had the 
ordinary course of procedure been followed in his case, 
he would have been sent to a reform school for boys from 


which he might have been graduated into a reformatory 
for young men and later sent to the penitentiary as a 
confirmed criminal. 

The case of Douglas Darrant emphasizes the impor- 
tance of thorough diagnosis before treatment. Careful 
diagnosis is now universally recognized in the medical 
profession. Any one can give medicine but only an 
expert can successfully diagnose a case. Treatment 
without diagnosis is just as likely to lead to disaster 
in social work as it is in medical practice. Moreover, 
social diagnosis is much more difficult than is medical 
diagnosis because there are many more factors to be 
taken into account, factors that are less understood than 
are the factors to be taken into account in medical diagno- 
sis. The social factors with which the social diag- 
nostician deals are much more complex than are the 
factors with which the medical diagnostician deals. 

The social worker dealing with a delinquent case knows 
not only that it is necessary to eliminate a bad environ- 
ment but that he must build up within, in order to reclaim 
his case successfully, and develop in the case the right 
social attitudes in order that the case may make the 
proper use of his environment in becoming properly 
adjusted to it. That no more headway is made in 
reducing delinquency and crime is due largely to the 
fact that the control of crime is under a profession which 
is unscientific and is always looking to the past for its 
methods of procedure and forms of control. In juvenile 
court work where some improvement has been made, 
politics has defeated reasonable accomplishment. The 
promises of the juvenile courts of twenty-five years ago 
have not been realized, and this has been due to incom- 
petent juvenile judges and probation officers. In only a 
few places in the United States have we high-grade 
courts. Moreover, very successful juvenile courts must 
await the development of child-welfare clinics, and these 


in turn must await a better organization of social agencies, 
especially those dealing with the problems of children. 
The physician must have years of training into the back- 
ground and technique of his profession before he can 
practice medicine. Of course, no one will claim that the 
social worker has had a training in his field comparable to 
that which a physician has for his work, which is less 
complex than is that of the social worker. Preventive 
social work is important; it is fundamental. But 
the emphasis now in social work is on building up within, 
on the positive, the constructive, on developing right 
social attitudes, on fortifying against the destructive, 
whether of disease or behavior, on making the individual 
efficient as a producer and an effective member of society. 
In accomplishing these things diagnosis takes first rank. 
The following instrumentalities are used : education, tech- 
nical and industrial education, boys' and girls' clubs, 
recreation and playground centers, camps, settlements, 
child-welfare clinics, visiting housekeepers, visiting 
nurses school nurses, health clinics, boarding homes, and 
probation work. How to use these and other agencies 
comes within the province of treatment- by the trained 
and experienced social worker. 

In our earlier philanthropy we divided mankind into 
two classes, the handicapped and those who are not hand- 
icapped. This classification is very clearly expressed 
in the definitions and the statement of the case I quoted 
from Devine. We do not recognize such a distinction 
now. The handicapped on certain grounds may very 
easily pass into the group of the unhandicapped, and the 
latter class in certain characteristics may become handi- 
capped. In my ten years as dean I have done case work 
with university students in most unusual and exceptional 
ways and certainly university students are not often 
considered a handicapped class. Even in our summer 
federation courses offered to students of relatively mature 


years who were receiving training to become social 
federation executives, students suffering under complexes 
which militated against their efficiency have approached 
me for advice after laying bare their personality charac- 
teristics. Those of my readers who are married and have 
children know very well that every child is a problem. 
Indeed, every intelligent person knows that he has been 
a problem to some one. Social workers of the settle- 
ments know very well that in the contacts of those of the 
avenues with those of the settlement the latter have as 
much to give in personality traits as they receive. 

Good social work is a primary requisite in all democra- 
cies. This is especially true in the United States because 
of what has happened here. We have become indi- 
vidualists gone mad. Our resources have seemed unlim- 
ited. Our population has been widely scattered. There 
has been in the past an inordinate demand for people to 
settle on the soil. It has been possible for individuals 
to rise from humble to exalted positions in American 
society. Failures have been attributed to personal 
causes, and but little sympathy has been expressed for 
those who fail. 

The scene has changed and is changing rapidly. There 
are less opportunities for the lowly to rise than formerly. 
The handicapped are about us on all sides. Over fifty 
years ago in his " Progress and Poverty/' Henry George 
pointed out in eloquent terms the sodden poverty which 
exists amid advancing wealth. People are poor and 
handicapped because of low wages, unemployment, 
the sickness or death of the breadwinner, accidents, 
illness of other members of the family, desertion, bad 
housing conditions, and other causes beyond the reach of 
correction by the individual victims of misery. 

We formerly thought that as long as the gates of oppor- 
tunity were wide open every one had an equal chance to 
reach the destined goal. We have since learned that 


there is no inequality greater than the equal treatment of 
unequals. Social work is then a most imperative need of 
a democracy, in order that things may be gauged so that 
we shall all share each other's burdens and equalize the 
conditions as far as possible for each and all in the race of 
life. The clubfooted boy should not be compelled to 
compete on equal terms with the fleet of foot. Our 
health clinics, our child-welfare clinics, our parks, our 
playgrounds, our community centers, our settlements, 
and other social instrumentalities are intended to even up 
the conditions as far as possible for the health and happi- 
ness of all. 

All successful social work is based on science. We 
insist that those in training for social work shall have as a 
groundwork the fundamental courses in social science. 
We feel that the more scientific the social worker is, the 
more successful social worker he will be. Moreover, the 
scientific social worker should become the most valuable 
contributor to the science of society, since he is living all 
the time in the best social laboratory in the world, and 
his contributions will be measured by his equipment, his 
training, and his scientific attitude of mind. 

Real social work is based on science, but social work is 
itself an art. Just as the physician knows that the 
medicine which he gives to a sixteen-year-old boy afflicted 
with a certain disease will effect a cure, and that the 
same medicine given to another boy of the same age with 
the same affliction may not effect a cure with the latter 
but may make him sick, so the social worker knows that 
he can seldom treat two cases alike, although the condi- 
tions and circumstances may appear to be the same. 
Experience in each instance in handling a great number of 
cases is important. Social work, as medicine, is an art. 





The purpose of this chapter is to find out what training 
is received in the social sciences, in psychology, and in 
biology by those who enter schools of social work after 
they have graduated from an American college or 
university. The great majority of those who enter such 
schools are women, and for this reason this investigation 
is restricted to women graduates. Training in the 
social sciences, in psychology, and in biology should be a 
part of the fundamental equipment of the social worker. 
This training is not given in the high school, and unless 
the graduate from the college or university receives 
it as a part of her college education, she does not receive it 
at all when she enters the school of social work. 

The colleges and universities chosen for this investiga- 
tion, all in Ohio, are fairly representative of those 
throughout the country from which students enter the 
schools of social work. They are Ohio Wesleyan 
University, Ohio University, Otterbein College, Witten- 
berg College, Denison University, and the Ohio State 

Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, is a 
college of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is rated 
as one of the very best educational institutions supported 
by this religious organization in the United States. It 
was founded in 1844 and had a registration in 1927 of 
2,008 students, of whom 934 were men and 1,074 were 
women. It has strong departments in economics, sociol- 
ogy, and political science. 



Otterbein College was founded by the United Brethren 
Church at Westerville, Ohio, in 1847. Otterbein College 
is a member of the Ohio College Association, the North 
Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, 
and the Association of American Colleges. Its registra- 
tion in 1927 was 545, of whom 248 were men and 297 were 

Wittenberg College, controlled and supported by the 
Lutheran Church, located at Springfield, Ohio, was 
founded in 1845. The total assets of the college amount 
to over $3,250,000, while its productive endowment is 
$1,387,000. It had a registration in 1927 of 1,003, of 
which 568 were men and 435 women. 

The Ohio University, located at Athens, Ohio, a state- 
supported institution, was organized in 1809. It has two 
colleges a college of liberal arts and a college of educa- 
tion. Both men and women are admitted on equal 
terms. Its total enrollment in 1928-1929 was 3,454. 

Denison University, at Granville, Ohio, thirty miles 
east of Columbus, was founded by the Baptist Church. 
It was first organized in 1831 as the "Granville Literary 
and Theological Institution. " The theological depart- 
ment was abandoned and the name of the institution was 
changed to Granville College in 1845. Ten years later 
its name was changed to Denison University. The total 
amount of property invested in Denison University is 
$5,000,000, $3,000,000 of which is income-yielding endow- 
ment. The total enrollment in 1927-1928 was 1,034, 
of which 500 were men and 534 were women. 

The Ohio State University, with an enrollment of over 
10,000, is one of the great state Universities of the Middle 
West. It has ten colleges and a large graduate school. 
The standing of this university is too well known to need 
further description. 

This investigation is restricted to the women graduates 
of liberal arts colleges. The investigation included all 


the women graduates for two years, 1928-1929, at Ohio 
University, Otterbein College, and Wittenberg College. 
The total number of women graduates for the two years 
was: Ohio University, 106, Otterbein College, 105, and 
Wittenberg College, 106. The investigation for the other 
institutions had to do with one year, 1929. In this 
year there were 89 women graduates at the Ohio State 
University, 195 women graduates at Ohio Wesleyan 
University, and 89 women graduates at Denison Uni- 
versity. We have every reason to believe that the 
amount of work taken in the social sciences, in psychology, 
and in biology by the women graduates of the above 
institutions for the years indicated is fairly representative 
of what they would take in any year. 

Practically all the leading universities and colleges of 
the country require in the fundamental courses in the 
social sciences, in psychology and in biology, six semester 
hours' credit or ten quarter hours 7 credit. If students 
receive less than this in the above subjects they are not 
adequately trained in the fundamentals of the above 
sciences. For this reason this study contains not only 
the number of women students in each institution who 
had no work at all in each subject, but also the number of 
women graduates who took less than six semester hours 
in each subject. Thus it points out the percentage of 
women graduates who were inadequately trained in each 
subject. 1 The results appear in Table I on page 76. 

Applying the test described in Table I one finds that 
the percentage of these 690 recent graduates who are inade- 
quately trained in each subject is as follows: 56.7 per cent 
in sociology, 46.9 per cent in psychology, 88.4 per cent in 
economics, 86.5 per cent in political science, and 72.6 per 
cent in biology. Only one in ten had any work whatever 
in psychology and only one in four had work in sociology. 
More than one-half of these women were without training 

1 See also Appendix, Tables II, III, IV, V, and VI. 



in biology, nearly two-thirds were without any training in 
political science, and nearly three-fourths were innocent 
of economics. These figures, however, represent the 





(For detailed tables showing data by colleges see Appendix, Tables 

II to VI.) 

Number of 
credit hours 







Number of graduates 







Under 6 

6 to 11 

12 to 17 . 

18 to 23 

24 or more 



Percentage distribution 


7 5 

35 9 
44 3 
5 4 
1 6 

14 8 

65 . 5 
1 9 


Under 6 

6 to 11 

12 to 17 

18 to 23 


24 or more 


average of the entire number studied. The variations 
from college to college were of course pronounced. 

If we consider only those graduates who had at least 
the fundamentals of the science (six or more semester 
hours) we find their proportion varying most in sociology, 
for 86.6 per cent of Ohio State graduates as contrasted 


with 15.1 per cent of Ohio University graduates had had 
the elementary courses in this subject. Psychology was 
the most popular of these subjects, and yet only 10.3 per 
cent of the women graduates of the Ohio Wesleyan 
University had credit for six semester hours or more. 
Economics and political science were almost equally 
unpopular. At no college did the proportion presenting 
six or more credit hours in either of these subjects equal 
one to five of the graduates. These facts appear more 
clearly when presented in tabular form. 

If we consider those graduates who presented credit 
hours sufficient to constitute a major, or at least one or 
two additional courses (twelve hours or more) we find the 
proportions for the most part slight. Only sociology 
at Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan and Denison, and psychol- 
ogy at Ohio State were presented by more than one-tenth 
of the class in amounts exceeding eleven credit hours. 

To sum up the situation, we find the chances that 
graduates in liberal arts will have had the fundamental 
course in psychology are better than in any other sub- 
jects considered. Whether or not they will have had 
the course in sociology will depend largely upon the 
college from which they come. The chances are that 
they will not have had the work in biology, even if they 
come from Ohio State University, where the proportion 
is highest. The likelihood that they will have had either 
economics or political science is slight, no matter which of 
the six schools they come from. 

The situation with respect to advanced courses is 
equally bad. The student who has had any considerable 
amount of advanced work in any of these subjects except 
psychology and sociology is rare. With all its popular- 
ity, psychology is elected sparingly except at Ohio State, 
and sociology can hardly be considered to rank as an 
advanced elective except at Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan, 
and Denison. 


It is believed that the amount of work taken in the 
social sciences, psychology, and biology in the colleges 
and universities considered in this study is representative 
of what is taken in these subjects in the colleges and 
universities of the country. If this is true, the holders of 
A.B. degrees who enter the schools of social work of the 
country are inadequately trained in the social sciences, 
psychology, and biology. 

Since all students of social work should have fundamen- 
tal courses in all these subjects, the percentage of women 
graduates of liberal arts colleges of the country who have 
adequate training in these fundamental courses is very 
small indeed. If the students of the schools of social 
work do not have fundamental courses in these sciences, 
it is impossible for them to take the pre-professional 
courses in social work which are based on the fundamen- 
tal courses. 

The regular graduate student in any university of the 
country cannot take graduate work in any subject until 
he has completed all the fundamental courses in that 
subject, and he must take the latter without credit. 
A graduate student in sociology, for instance, must have a 
background of courses not only in sociology but in 
economics, history, and psychology before he can pursue 
very far his graduate work in sociology. 

If the schools of social work which are presumed to be 
graduate in character should insist that holders of A.B. 
degrees who enter them should take fundamental courses 
they have not had without credit, and if the social work 
courses they offer are not elementary in character, they 
will give themselves a status comparable to other 
graduate schools of the country. How many of them 
meet this requirement? 



I feel that it would be absurd to discuss the above ques- 
tion were it not for the fact that writers chiefly from the 
so-called graduate schools of social work have seriously 
questioned the advisability of giving training in social 
work to undergraduates. The colleges of law and 
medicine, which were established many years before the 
schools of social work were established, are undergraduate 
colleges, and no one is seriously raising the question as to 
whether they should be graduate or undergraduate 
organizations. Harvard University, all of whose profes- 
sional schools are graduate schools, has graduate schools 
of law, medicine, and business administration. 

The American Medical Association now prescribes 
two years of collegiate training as a prerequisite to the 
medical-school course of all medical schools in its associa- 
tion, and prescribes definitely nearly all the courses which 
are prerequisite to the medical college. The better 
colleges of law usually require two years of college work as 
prerequisite to the college of law without stipulating w r hat 
courses should be studied, and some of the law colleges 
do not even require any collegiate training as prerequisite 
to the course in the college of law. If these older colleges 
with better established courses of study than prevail in 
schools of social work and with greater financial opportuni- 
ties for their graduates than the graduates of the schools 
of social work have, are not graduate, why should it be 
insisted that the schools of social work should be graduate 



Another factor in the case makes the insistence that 
schools of social work be graduate more ridiculous still. 
The great majority of social workers of the country have 
never been trained in schools of social work of any sort, 
and a great majority of them do not have college training. 
A great many social workers (unfortunately we are not 
able to say how high the percentage is) have not even 
had a high-school education. In the face of such facts as 
these, is it not ridiculous to say that advanced under- 
graduates are not capable of receiving training in social 
administration ? 

Moreover, the schools of commerce or business 
administration, which came into existence about the 
same time as the schools of social work, and the schools 
of education, which came into existence somewhat earlier 
than the schools of social work, are practically all 
undergraduate schools. In both of these types of schools, 
a four years' course or a two years' course based upon a 
more or less definite prerequisite two years' work, leading 
either to the degree of bachelor of arts or bachelor of 
science, is organized. In the undergraduate schools of 
social work, a four years' course leading to the degree 
of bachelor of arts or bachelor of science is organized, 
or a two years' course based on liberal electives and some 
required work, with the third and fourth year's work 
occupied with preprofessional and professional courses. 
The organization of the work of the undergraduate 
school of social work is almost identical with the organi- 
zation of courses in business administration and in 
education in the universities. There are in each case the 
required fundamental courses, the liberal elective courses, 
the preprofessional courses, and the professional courses 
leading to the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of 
science in business administration, in education, and in 
social work or social administration. It is rather strange 
that writers on education in social work do not see the 


analogy of training in education and in business adminis- 
tration to social work, a training which has had a com- 
parable development to social work in time and in many 
of its conditions, rather than the analogy of legal and 
medical education to training in social work. But even 
if the latter analogy be followed, there is no warrant in 
concluding that the schools of social work should be 
graduate schools. 

Some of these writers, who should have a better knowl- 
edge of the problems of colleges of education than any 
other professional schools, have failed to see the similarity 
between the schools of education and of social work. A 
great majority of the students in schools of education are 
women. A great majority of the students in the schools 
of social work are women. Most women who go into 
either field have the alternative of choosing between 
education and social work as their field of professional 
service, and they do as a matter of fact make a choice 
between these two occupations. The factors of personal 
preferment and financial reward are the chief ones 
taken into account. The fact that many of them can 
receive better returns after graduating from a teachers' 
college than they can receive after graduating from an 
undergraduate or so-called graduate school of social work 
explains the much larger number preparing for teaching 
than for the profession of social work. 

The present organization of the schools of social work 
has been determined very largely by local conditions. As 
has been said, the first schools organized were private in 
character and were dominated entirely by the social 
worker's point of view. Emphasis was placed on field 
work and the teaching of techniques, as the social 
agencies desired workers made to order. University men 
who wished to offer courses on the training of social 
workers and who were dominated by the theories of 
education of the first private schools saw at once an 


insurmountable obstacle in the offering of this sort of 
training in a liberal arts college, which was under- 
graduate. Nevertheless, they assumed that the only 
place where they could offer undergraduate training in 
social work was in a liberal arts college. They jumped to 
the conclusion that the only place, then, where they could 
offer training of this sort was in the graduate school, 
where they could accept students who had an A.B. degree 
from any school and where they could offer training 
patterned after the private school which, as we have said, 
was dominated by the educational point of view of the 
social worker. 

They assumed that the only alternative to the proce- 
dure was the offering of such undergraduate courses in a 
liberal arts college as would pass muster before a liberal 
arts dean and a liberal arts faculty on their technical 
character. Of course, liberal arts colleges do not look 
with enthusiasm on the giving of credit for courses 
containing liberal amounts of field work and courses 
which teach techniques. Consequently, where courses 
for the training of social workers have been offered in a 
liberal arts college, professors interested in such training 
have been compelled to compromise, making the courses 
as technical and professional in character as the college 
faculty would permit. In this connection, I recall vividly 
rny own experience for a period of ten years in offering 
technical and professional courses in business administra- 
tion and in social service in a liberal arts college, until a 
separate organization was set up for the teaching of these 

The private schools first organized were not graduate 
schools and only by the most liberal interpretation as to 
what constitutes graduate work can most of them be 
considered graduate schools now. They offered training 
for social workers and admitted on examination those 
who were not graduates of colleges. In this way many 


were admitted who were not college graduates, some of 
whom were not even high-school graduates. As many 
who were college graduates, perhaps a majority, in some 
instances, sought admission to receive training for social 
work, the impression, although unwarranted, has often 
been given that these were graduate schools of social work. 

I am convinced that courses in social administration 
should be offered in a liberal arts college only in the initial 
stages of the development of this work unless the work is 
organized in a school of social administration within the 
liberal arts college and in case this is done, those respon- 
sible for the school have freedom to develop the work of 
the school unhampered by arts college traditions. A 
much better plan, however, would be the organization 
of an independent undergraduate college or school out- 
side of the liberal arts college, such as the organization 
which usually prevails for colleges of commerce and of 

It is relatively easy for a state university to organize 
an undergraduate school or college of social administra- 
tion as soon as its work is sufficiently developed for the 
organization of a school or college, since it has many 
precedents for doing so. A well-rounded state university 
has at present undergraduate colleges of arts, engineering, 
agriculture, education, and commerce, and some of them 
have colleges of veterinary medicine and pharmacy. 
These colleges usually have four-year courses leading to 
the bachelor's degree. If these universities have colleges 
of law and medicine, they are usually professional colleges 
based on two years' training in some other college, usually 
a liberal arts college. 

As stated above, the purposes and aims of the colleges 
of commerce and education coincide most closely with 
those of colleges of social work. Fortunately for them, 
they have enjoyed a freedom of development from outside 
sources which the colleges or schools of social administra- 


tion have not enjoyed, for business men and educators 
have never attempted to impose their theories of educa- 
tion upon the colleges of commerce and education. 
For instance, business men have never assumed that it is 
the function of a college of business administration to 
teach the various techniques of business or to break 
students in for the different occupations of business. 
Moreover, they have never assumed, except in the highly 
technical work of accounting, that the student should be 
very efficient in his work at the time he graduates. 

Are the so-called graduate schools offering real graduate 
work? I have used the expression "so-called" advisedly. 
There is a great distinction between giving graduate work 
and giving work to students who have graduated. For 
some time after the Harvard graduate school of business 
administration was organized, those admitted to it were 
not required to have an elementary course in accounting 
or an elementary course in economics. When these 
students studied accounting as graduate students they 
were taking a course which is ordinarily offered to first- 
and second-year students in undergraduate colleges of 
business administration. 

Some of these so-called graduate schools of social work 
admit those holding an A.B. degree. No definite pre- 
requisites are required and elementary social work is 
taught them. Fundamental courses in the social sciences 
are not required in some of them, and even courses in 
sociology and psychology are not required. Only by 
the most liberal construction as to what graduate work 
really means can the teaching of elementary social work 
to those who hold the A.B. degree and who have not had 
fundamental training in the social sciences, to say nothing 
of the necessary background courses, be construed as 
graduate work. Work of this character very definitely 
depreciates graduate work in all universities where it is 


In graduate work in general, fundamental courses in 
the subject in which the student is majoring are required 
as prerequisite work upon his beginning graduate study, 
and if the student has not had these fundamental courses, 
he must take them without credit while he is taking 
other graduate work. For example, fundamental courses 
in sociology are not accepted as graduate credit in any 
course in which a student is either majoring or minoring 
at Ohio State University. There is no reason why 
similar requirements on fundamentals should not be 
made of graduate students in social administration as are 
made of all other graduate students. 

A committee of the American Association of Social 
Workers, which presented a report that was not adopted 
to its association meeting of 1927, upon invitation 
brought its report before the American Association of 
Schools of Social Work at its meeting in December, 1927. 
One feature of this report on background courses was 
opposed by some representatives of the graduate schools. 
It was as follows, "We therefore recommend that he 
(the student) present not less than thirty semester, or 
forty-five quarter credits in the background sciences 
such as : biology, psychology, economics, political science 
and sociology. " This was the amount of work which the 
candidate was expected to present when he began his 
work at the training school. If the course was an 
undergraduate course, the student was expected to 
complete this amount of work before he began his 
technical courses. 

From what was said during and after the meeting, 
it became apparent that the average graduate who 
enters the school of social administration would not 
meet the requirements, and if such a rule were adopted, 
undoubtedly the majority who entered these schools 
would be compelled to take some of these courses 
without credit. 


On the other hand, it would be relatively easy for the 
undergraduate schools of social work to meet all these 
requirements and also to require other courses of a 
preprofessional character. At the Ohio State University, 
all of the students in social work must have as a minimum 
ten quarter hours of psychology, ten hours of biology, ten 
hours of economics, ten hours of political science, and 
ten hours of sociology. In addition to these, they are 
required to take several other courses in the following 
subjects as preprofessional work: sociology, psychology, 
and economics. I am confident that the fundamental 
courses required here are also required at all universities 
where undergraduate training in social work is given. 

In the third year at the Ohio State University an 
intermediate group of courses is required that is neither 
technical nor, from a general point of view, fundamental. 
They are, however, considered fundamental for the train- 
ing of the social worker. There are required in the third 
year nine quarter hours in social investigation, in which 
the project method is used in giving the student the 
scientific attitude in the collecting of material, the 
analysis of data, and the assembling of the material in 
constructive papers. Four credit hours are required 
on standard of living, four credit hours on the family, and 
a three-hour course on criminology. Two technical 
courses, one on the social treatment of dependents and 
another on the social treatment of the child, are also 
given in the third year. Twenty per cent of the work 
of the student in each of the four years must be taken in 
liberal elective studies. With the exception of this 20 
per cent, all the work which the senior in social adminis- 
tration takes in his senior year is professional in character. 
I am confident that not one in twenty of those having the 
bachelor's degree who enter the so-called graduate schools 
of social work have the broad foundation in the social 
sciences and the training in the preprofessional courses 


which all those who enter the fourth year of under- 
graduate work in social administration at Ohio State 
must have. 

It is an open question whether the courses listed in the 
third year of the social administration curriculum as 
preprofessional in character are preprofessional or pro- 
fessional. They are not professional in character in so 
far as other students than those in social administration 
who have had the prerequisite courses are admitted to 
them. But should not all students of social work have 
training in social investigation courses on the family, on 
the standard of living, and on the causes of delinquency? 

In the first and second years of the training course for 
social and civic work at the University of Minnesota, the 
student is required to take courses on the introduction to 
sociology, modern social reform movements, social 
statistics, principles of economics, American government, 
psychology, zoology, and rural sociology. In the third 
year, the student is required to take case work, elemen- 
tary field training in case work, criminology, housing 
problems, child welfare, group work in the community, 
and a course on health. In his senior year the student 
has an opportunity to choose a general course on case 
work, group work, medical social work, or rural social 

In Washington University, St. Louis, where the curric- 
ulum in social work is offered in the junior and senior 
years, in the freshman and sophomore years the student 
must have had fundamental courses in sociology, 
psychology, economics, and zoology. 

In William and Mary College, where a four-year 
course in social work is given, students are required to 
take in the first two years fundamental courses in socio- 
logy* economics, political science, and psychology. 
In the junior year a number of preprofessional courses 
are required. 


The above are typical of what is required in funda- 
mental and preprofessional courses in undergraduate 
curriculums of social work. 

It is claimed that in an undergraduate course in social 
administration, students do not have the cultural back- 
ground and the broad training which they should have 
and which those who have the A.B. degree who enter the 
other schools get. The fundamental and preprofessional 
courses required in undergraduate training listed above 
give the student a broad and thorough foundation in the 
social sciences. Aside from the courses required in the 
first and second years, considerable freedom is enjoyed in 
choosing liberal electives. Moreover, 20 per cent of his 
work at the Ohio State University in the third and fourth 
years must be taken in liberal electives. 

Relatively little social science worthy the name is 
taught in secondary education. Is it not far better in the 
interests of a broad liberal education for students to 
emphasize the social sciences, psychology, and biology in 
the university rather than to continue with more of the 
same studies they had in the high school, and thus almost 
completely ignore in their training the above-named 
subjects? It is a fair assumption to make that students 
who continue in the university the subjects they studied 
in secondary education to the relative exclusion of the 
social sciences not only do not have a good foundation for 
training in social work but are not liberally educated. 
A broad training in the social sciences in the university 
does certainly liberalize the training of those who gradu- 
ate today from the secondary schools, where training in 
the social sciences is sadly neglected. 

Figures presented elsewhere show that unless training 
in psychology, biology, and the social sciences is required 
in the university, the average graduate of a liberal arts 
college will not have the equivalent of two semesters' or 


two quarters' work in the above-named subjects, which 
I assume to be fundamental for the social worker. 

It is said that the average graduate has not the age, the 
maturity, and the poise necessary to become a social 
worker, maturity and poise being considered necessary 
to the social worker because of the adverse impressions 
given to those who are to receive advice from him if he 
does not have these characteristics. The average college 
graduate is twenty-two or twenty-three years of age. 
If the professional course in social work consists of one 
year's training, and the student enters this course 
immediately after graduating, he will be, upon comple- 
tion of this graduate course, only one year older than the 
average graduate. If two years of professional training 
are required, under similar circumstances he will be 
two years older than the average graduate. If the 
average graduate completes his work at twenty-two 
years, then the graduate student who takes a course in 
social administration will be either twenty-three or 
twenty-four years of age. Will the difference between 
twenty-two years of age and twenty-three or twenty- 
four years be a vital matter to the social worker, from the 
point of view of age and maturity, in giving advice 
to those in need of it? I do not believe that one or two 
years' difference in age is vital in this period of the life 
of a young man or woman. 

If all students, upon graduation, deferred the pursuit of 
the graduate work in social administration for several 
years, during which time they had experience in other 
fields, and completed their social administration work at 
the age of twenty-nine or thirty, they would then have 
the maturity which age will give for their social-work 
experience. However, much would depend upon the 
experience of the student during the five or six years 
after he graduated as to whether he would ever be a 
fit candidate for a position as social worker. If after 


graduating he has been buffeted about for five or six 
years, has become disheartened and discouraged, and 
turns to social work as an escape from experiences which 
are disagreeable, he will not ordinarily be a promising 
candidate for any social-work position. The social 
worker should be well balanced and optimistic and have 
a wholesome point of view of the world instead of being a 
sufferer from complexes with which the discouraged and 
disappointed at thirty years of age are often afflicted. 

Has the undergraduate student the maturity and 
mental grasp which will enable him to pursue successfully 
courses in social work? A number of years ago, I con- 
ducted a seminary in sociology which was opened to 
seniors with the permission of the instructor and to 
graduate students, and I discovered that the seniors at 
the Ohio State University who had training in sociology 
and allied subjects were much more mature and were 
much better prepared to make investigations and write 
theses than were the average graduates from other 
colleges, since the others were nearly always inade- 
quately trained in the social sciences. As these students 
from other colleges are typical of the average graduate 
who enters the so-called graduate school of social work, 
the conclusion is of course obvious. Professors of 
sociology in large universities where the work in sociology 
is well organized have had experience with students 
from other colleges which coincides with my experi- 

Miss Sydnor H. Walker in a book recently published, 
"Social Work and the Training of the Social Worker/' 
considers the question whether undergraduates can 
successfully pursue training in social work as follows: 

The most important point at issue seems to be whether or 
not the subject matter of social work can be effectively handled 
in the undergraduate college. Some survey of the subject 
matter to be covered is needed before an opinion can be formed. 


There must be consideration, first, of the subject matter now 
included in schools of social work and, second, of the possible 
modifications in curricula which might affect the feasibility of 
undergraduate preparation. The writer obviously has in mind 
undergraduate training in a liberal arts college. As has been 
stated before, undergraduate training in social work should be 
given in a liberal arts college only in the initial stages of 
social- work training unless a separate organization, such as a 
school, is set up in an arts college for the organization and 
administration of social-work training. 

Miss Walker writes further concerning the function of 
social work training as follows : 

What the student in a school of social work is expected to 
acquire is a scientific attitude towards observation and collec- 
tion of data, ability to analyze and plan upon the basis of 
pertinent facts ... In the classroom and through field work 
the student also gains a knowledge of community resources, 
skill in assembling them with respect to various types of cases, 
ability to diagnose the client's disability, and constructive 
imagination in getting results. 

If my experience in seminaries with seniors well 
grounded in the social sciences and with graduates from 
colleges not well grounded in the social sciences, and that 
of other professors of sociology, is well founded, then 
seniors who have had good preliminary training are better 
qualified to do the above things which Miss Walker 
describes than is the average graduate who has not had 
this fundamental training. 

After considering various factors bearing on the capac- 
ity of undergraduates to receive successfully social-work 
training, Miss Walker concludes : 

There is nothing to prove that it would not be possible to 
develop the student by varied experience with social problems 
throughout the whole undergraduate course, so that by his 
senior year he would be better adapted to social work than is 


the graduate student whose previous experience has been 
fortuitous. If, for other reasons, it is thought desirable to 
provide undergraduate training in social work, the matter 
of maturity does not seem an insurmountable obstacle. 

It is claimed that in the undergraduate course in social 
administration an inadequate amount of field work is 
given. In the schools of social work a larger amount of 
field work is required, as a rule, than in any other profes- 
sional course. In medicine, after the individual com- 
pletes his regular work, he is required to be an interne 
in a hospital, where he acquires his experience. The 
student who studies law is not required to take a field- 
work course, and the engineer does not get any field- 
work experience except in the laboratory. In two 
instances in the state of Ohio, in engineering and in 
commerce, the field work and the classroom work are 
organized upon a fifty-fifty basis. I refer to the Univer- 
sity of Cincinnati and Antioch College. The time 
required to complete the courses in each of these instances 
is, I believe, six years. However, the methods of these 
institutions have not been copied in other places. 

The question at issue, it seems to me, lies in this, as 
to whether it is our business to offer training in social 
work or to teach the techniques of the different occupa- 
tions of social work before the individual begins his 
social-work experience. In collegiate training schools in 
business education, it is frankly admitted that it is not 
the function of the business school to teach the various 
techniques of business but to teach principles and theories 
with the idea of developing a sufficient maturity in a 
student to enable him to apply these principles and 
theories in a variety of situations in solving business 
problems. It seems to me that in our attempt to teach 
the techniques we are concerned with the training of 
people to do specific things, in the training of people to 


fill the ranks of social workers, rather than the training of 
executives and administrators and leaders in social work. 

The question also comes up whether, in our schools of 
social work, we are to follow the trade-school conception 
of education or the university conception of education. 
In the trade school people are taught techniques, they are 
taught how to do specific things and given practice in 
doing specific things, and are expected to be effective and 
efficient at the time they complete the work of the trade 
school. In the universities, as a rule, we do not believe 
that the teaching of techniques constitutes adequate 
material for a university education. When both prin- 
ciples and theories are taught, we are less concerned about 
the efficiency of the individual at the time he graduates 
than we are about his efficiency five or ten years after he 
graduates. The trade schools are interested in immedi- 
ate efficiency. The universities are not. The university 
assumes that the individual should be given a breadth of 
view and a grasp of fundamental theories and principles 
so that he will be able to apply his principles and his 
theories to the solution of problems which arise from day 
to day and so he will be permitted to grow through his 
experience in the actual work of the world during a series 
of years. We believe that the individual who has had 
a broad training and who has been trained in fundamental 
principles will be farther along at the end of six or seven 
years after he has completed his work than the individual 
who has been taught to do specific things. 

Much is being said at the present time about the diffi- 
culties of successfully combining field work with academic 
work in both graduate and undergraduate courses, 
especially the latter. Nearly all schools have found it 
difficult to require field work of a character for which 
university credit should be given. When the purpose of 
field work is clearly understood both of the above diffi- 
culties are not impossible of solution. We assume that 


the major purpose of field work is to give the student a 
clearer perception of the principles of social work in 
whatever field he may be doing his field work rather than 
to give him a practice or experience which will enable 
him to fit more definitely into a specific job. When 
the latter is accomplished, and it very often is, it is an 
incidental function of field work. 

This is, however, a very different point of view from 
that of the schools which are organized on a fifty-fifty 
basis between academic work and field work, or from that 
which attaches much more importance to the field work 
than academic work, as is the case of one school which 
gives its academic work in the summer term and the field 
work during the rest of the year. 

For practical purposes it is imperative that some one on 
the faculty of the school should organize and supervise 
the work of the students from the angle of the school and 
make the contacts with the social agencies. Of course, 
some one in the social agencies should have charge of the 
students and supervise them from the point of view of the 
agencies. But if university standards are maintained, 
some one connected with the school should be very 
actively associated with the students' field work. 

The quality of the field work is much more important 
than its quantity. When this is appreciated field work 
will not be so difficult to arrange. At the Ohio State Uni- 
versity it has been found better to arrange the field work of 
students at times when they are not carrying academic 
work. By this arrangement it is not necessary for them 
to pursue their field work in the city where the university 
is situated. We require fifteen hours of field work. This 
is, of course, independent of the course in social investiga- 
tion which all must take and in which the project method 
of teaching is used. Students are often given an option 
between taking their field work the summer quarter 
between the junior and senior years or some one quarter 


of the senior year, preferably the spring quarter. Case- 
work courses along with field-work courses are strongly 

In Great Britain the training schools of social work do 
not emphasize the teaching of techniques at all and such 
courses as 1 "case work/' "family work/' and "com- 
munity organization" do not appear in the curriculum of 
the English school in the list of courses. As a matter of 
fact the English schools go to an extreme in avoiding the 
giving of courses of a professional character and seem to 
be satisfied with the giving of fundamental courses and 
courses having a philosophical basis. 

A report issued by the Joint University Council for 
Social Studies in 1918 gives the unanimous views of 
the Council on the question of curriculum, as follows: 2 

1. A historical account of the origin of existing social and 
economic conditions, with particular stress on the more recent 
stages of their evolution. 

2. A description of present-day social and economic life. 

3. The analysis of economic facts, together with an intro- 
duction to methods of investigation. 

4. The discussion of the principles and methods of social 
administration, including industrial law, the functions and 
organs of local government, and the working of voluntary 

5. A philosophical statement and examination of social 
principles, aims, and ideals. 

The above does not look like the outline of a course in 
social administration, but in the long run it is a more 
satisfactory course on social work than those which teach 
techniques to students who do not have the fundamental 
courses in the social sciences. 

The English attitude toward one type of the American 
school is perhaps best represented by the observation of 

1 MACADAM, "The Equipment of the Social Worker," p. 64. 

2 Ibid., p. 59. 


the above-quoted author, Miss Macadam, on the New 
York School of Social Work: 

It is a " trade" school in the sense that it finds tools, puts 
them into the hands of its students, and shows them how to 
use them, and it is not ashamed to do this. 

Miss Macadam says further with reference to the 
English point of view: 

Social work in this country [Great Britain] has not acquired 
its own technique to the same extent as is the case in the 
United States. This is largely accounted for by the fact 
that here the movement for the education and training of 
the social worker was removed to the University at an early 
stage, whereas in America it remained much longer in the 
hands of practical workers. We have seen earlier that 
our emphasis has always been laid on a grounding in social 
principles rather than on "ends," however important these 
may be. The aim of social training in this country is to send 
out future workers of all grades with the right outlook on life 
and its problems. Nevertheless, though "technique" may 
to British eyes appear to be overdone across the Atlantic, we 
must admit the possibility that we have gone too far in the 
other direction and sometimes neglected the science of practi- 
cal administration. This points to the need of a race of 
teachers who are practitioners as well as philosophers, and 
fortunate indeed is the school which possesses them! 1 

If, in preparing to write her chapter on education and 
training for social work in America and other countries, 
Miss Macadam had taken pains to examine the curric- 
ulums and the philosophy of education for social work in 
some of the universities which are not under the domi- 
nance of social workers, she would have discovered much 
that would have pleased her. When she discovered that 
these institutions were giving undergraduate courses, she 
unfortunately did not consider them worthy of serious 
consideration. She says: 

1 Ibid., p. 64. 


It is true that this training is sometimes provided during 
the undergraduate course of study, but this is done with a 
gesture of apology. A letter received from a professor in a 
large state university is indicative of this: 

" Since the University of is a public, tax-supported 

institution, it is under considerable pressure of public opinion 
to supply the various kinds of technical and vocational 
training desired by different factions of the public. As 
a consequence our professional training for social work is 
organized in the undergraduate college when, as a matter of 
principle, we should prefer to have it a postgraduate school. 
In the interests of raising professional standards, we encourage 
students to remain at the University for a year or more after 
having received the undergraduate degree. " 

Having supervised undergraduate social training for a 
period of ten years in a liberal arts college and fifteen 
years in a college specifically organized to give profes- 
sional training, I offer no apology for supervising under- 
graduate training in social work. In the light of the 
foregoing facts and arguments, how can I offer an 
apology? I urge our graduates of distinct promise in 
social work to remain an additional year and take a 
master's degree in social administration. I also agree 
with the professor quoted that we would prefer a post- 
graduate to an undergraduate school in social administra- 
tion, but his general statement does not fairly represent 
the views of those responsible for undergraduate training 
in social work in state universities. 

There is great need too for a real graduate school organ- 
ized on a plane comparable to the other graduate schools 
of the country. There should be a graduate school of 
social administration which those who take an under- 
graduate course in social administration may attend 
without duplicating what they have taken in under- 
graduate study. Elementary social work and work 
which freshmen and sophomores can carry should not be 


taught as graduate work. Moreover, field work of a 
simple, detailed character is not real graduate work. 
If those admitted to the graduate school of social 
administration are not graduates of a recognized under- 
graduate school of social administration, they at least 
should have had as a prerequisite to the graduate school 
substantial fundamental courses in the social sciences, 
and in biology and psychology, and a number of pre- 
professional courses in social administration. In other 
words, graduate work in social administration should be 
placed on a plane comparable to that of graduate work in 
other fields of study. 

Many more students can be reached by an under- 
graduate school of social administration than by a 
graduate school. As many more people today become 
social workers through the apprenticeship system than 
through the schools, no effort should be made to curtail 
the number who attend schools, which would be the 
case if only those who had an A.B. degree were admitted 
to the schools. The necessity of receiving training to 
become social workers is not now always apparent. 
Moreover, the difference in financial returns of those who 
receive training in the schools and those who do not is not 
sufficiently marked to offer a special inducement to one 
who wants to be a social worker to attend a training 


The schools of social work have ignored their oppor- 
tunity of training social executives. They have been 
busy training case workers, probation officers, health 
workers, psychiatric social workers, settlement workers, 
etc., and have neglected the most important task they 
should be engaged in, namely, the education of the leaders, 
the organizers, the administrators in short, the execu- 
tives in social work administration. For this omission 
two reasons may be assigned: First, the demand for 
superior craftsmen, which led to the organization of the 
first schools of social work. Executives became weary 
of training w r orkers for their staffs, felt that they were not 
doing a good job, and consequently concluded that this 
w r ork should be taken over by a specialized agency, the 
school. Second, is the fact that when the schools were 
first organized, the importance of having trained execu- 
tives was not appreciated. As a matter of fact, but few 
of the leaders in social work believed that executives 
could be trained. 

The schools of business administration which were 
organized about the same time as the schools of social 
administration pursued a very different policy. From 
the very beginning, the former assumed that their 
chief function was to train executives. They also 
trained accountants, statisticians, actuaries, etc., but 
their main emphasis from the beginning was the training 
of men who could hold responsible positions in the busi- 
ness world as executives. Of course, it was not assumed 



that the graduate of the college of business administra- 
tion would take a position at once as an important execu- 
tive. He would probably have to accept a position 
at the outset as a minor executive or even take a routine 
position, but as a consequence of his training it was 
believed that after successful experience, he would 
gradually advance from a position of one responsibility 
to another. 

It has been only within the last few years that leaders 
of social work have appreciated the importance of train- 
ing social executives. Within the last ten years, a great 
impetus has been given to the organization of the social 
work of cities in councils of social agencies or community 
funds under the leadership of social executives. This 
movement has gone ahead by leaps and bounds so that at 
the present time cities have organized community funds. 
Executive ability of a high order is required of the 
directors of community funds. As the schools of social 
work have been in existence now a good many years, one 
would naturally expect that those selected to head com- 
munity funds would be graduates of the schools. As a 
matter of fact, relatively few of the directors of com- 
munity funds graduated from these schools. Some of 
these executives have come from the ranks of social 
work but most of them have been drawn in from other 
fields of activity business, politics, the ministry, teach- 
ing, the law, etc. Those searching for directors of 
community funds have desired to secure men of executive 
ability and experience, and as the schools of social work 
made no pretense at training executives, they were 
weighed in the balance and found wanting, and so did 
not secure these prize social-work positions. Within the 
last five or six years, several important executive posi- 
tions at the head of community funds have been vacant 
all the time, and those who feel the responsibility of 
recommending capable directors for these positions con- 


fess their inability to recommend men of adequate train- 
ing and ability as candidates for the positions. 

As the training schools of social work are now interest- 
ing themselves in providing training for social executives, 
the important quest is: What kind of training should the 
social executive receive? This training should naturally 
be based on a job analysis of the work of a social executive 
since this study would naturally suggest the training 
which he should receive. This study has not been made, 
however, and therefore this method of procedure is 
not available. A judiciously arranged questionaire in 
the hands of twenty-five or thirty of the leading social 
executives of the United States in diverse social fields, 
so worded that it would enable each executive to state 
specifically what he does and how he occupies his time 
over a period of four or six weeks, would furnish an 
excellent basis for the study of the work of the social 
executive. It is much more important in a study of this 
kind to learn specifically what the executive does than to 
have him philosophize on what the social executive ought 
to do. 

I do not mean to say that a job analysis of what social 
executives are doing is sufficient to determine what the 
social executive should do. This assumes that what is 
now being done is conducted along right lines and is 
adequate. I am aware that job analyses are now being 
made in various lines of work on the theory that the 
results will show what ought to be done in each line. 
This theory does not assume the possibility of progress. 
A job analysis is very valuable because it furthers the 
surest kind of progress, that based on an exact and 
thorough knowledge of what is being done. When we 
know what social executives are actually doing in the 
different lines of social welfare we have a point of view 
to enable us to say what they should do and what 
qualities they should possess. This is the best possible 


knowledge that a trainer of social executives should 

I know that there are those who believe that if an 
individual is a trained social worker he does not need any 
special training to qualify him to fill a position as a social 
executive. With this point of view, I disagree. I have 
observed many failures as executives of well-trained men 
who were devoid of the qualifications which an executive 
should possess. The social executive should be a trained 
social worker for reasons stated later in this chapter, 
but he should also have specialized training for the 
qualifications which an executive should possess. 

To what extent does the work of the social executive 
differ from the work of other executives? How much is 
common in all classes of executive work? To have 
executive ability even of a high order in one field of 
usefulness may be altogether inadequate in others. 
Some of the community-fund executives drawn from 
other executive positions within the last ten years have 
been relatively successful, whereas others have been 
flat failures. Just why have some succeeded while others 
have failed? An answer to this question can be found 
only by an analysis of the functions of the social executive 
and by checking the qualifications of specific cases against 

Two extreme types of executives at once suggest them- 
selves. The first surrounds himself with a staff of 
subordinates and is unwilling to give them complete 
responsibility in anything. They are expected to await 
the last word in anything from their chief. He is usually a 
very busy man. He is always loaded up with responsi- 
bilities and details, always holding innumerable confer- 
ences because he desires to be in on everything and to feel 
that his judgment is important in every decision that is 
made. Such an executive may assume this role because he 
is a vain man and would be most unhappy if he was not in 


on everything and deciding everything himself; or he may 
have the incapacity to organize his force and delegate 
authority and responsibility. 

The second type of executive is an organizer. He 
surrounds himself with a group of men as able as the 
money at his command will enable him to employ, and 
selects them with reference to the functions they are to 
perform. After policies are defined, these subordinates 
are given complete responsibility for the work they are 
to do, and each one is held accountable for the successful 
performance of the functions of his office. Whenever 
the work of a subordinate is related to that of others or to 
that of the chief, conferences are held to define policies 
and outline appropriate action. This type of executive 
will delegate practically everything, and leave himself 
nothing to do if this is possible. 

From an experience of ten years as dean of a college, I 
discovered that even though I delegated to others 
practically everything which came within my province, 
I always had plenty to do. The definition of new policies, 
the handling of moot questions on appeal, the employ- 
ment of a suitable personnel, the maintenance of an 
esprit de corps of the staff all these will give adequate 
scope for the activity of any executive at the head of a 
large organization. What is said here of the chief 
executive officer will apply almost equally well to sub- 
ordinate executives. If he does his work well, the execu- 
tive should have time to think and plan. To be intensely 
active and to exhibit the appearance of being very busy 
are not the marks of a good executive. 

It is obvious, of course, that not all executives are of 
these two extreme types. They shade off into each other 
from one extreme type to the other with all kinds of 
variations and gradations. Another variation of the 
executive type is the one who must have his judgments 


confirmed and who consequently must have frequent 
conferences with many in on the decisions reached. 

All good executives must be the possessors of seven well 
recognized qualities: 

1. They must have organizing ability. 

2. They must have strong personalities (including the capacity 
to cooperate with and work with others). 

3. They must have functional knowledge of their work. 

4. They must have a knowledge of the technique of their work. 

5. They must have ability in personnel work. 

6. They must have leadership. 

7. They must be effective, and they should be able to measure the 
effectiveness of their work. 

The quality most common in all executives is organ- 
izing ability, an ability which can be carried over very 
conveniently from one field to another. Good organizing 
ability will offset many other weaknesses of an execu- 
tive. It is apparent that the two types of executive 
above described are found in all sorts of executive 
enterprises. No one, certainly, would regard the first 
type of executive in any enterprise a good executive, but 
all would recognize the second as a good type of executive. 

Organizing ability displays itself to the observer the 
moment he enters the offices of a real executive. The 
chief executive may or may not have an office manager, 
but whether he has or not, if he is a good executive he will 
insist that the offices be effectively organized. What are 
his facilities for accurate record keeping, for statistical 
analysis, and for the investigation of things an executive 
needs to know? What is his arrangement of desks and 
office furniture; has he the best stenographic and 
typewriting facilities, the best arrangements for confer- 
ences, etc. ? Often a glance at the office arrangements will 
reveal at once whether the executive is competent or 
incompetent in office administration. Those character- 
istics that indicate efficiency are common to all good 


executive organizations. The office management may 
serve different purposes because of different executive 
functions, but fundamentally the organization and 
arrangement of things will be practically the same. 

Organizing ability, with reference to the capacity to 
delegate responsibility and the disposition to do it, is the 
same in all high-grade executives. 

The social executive must be democratic. It is imper- 
ative that he work with other agencies and institutions 
whether he is the executive of a community fund, a 
charity organization society, a state institution, or in 
charge of probation work. Cooperation of this sort is not 
so important in the work of many other executives, 
but with the social executive it is imperative. His 
success is measured to a large extent by his capacity to 
secure teamwork and by his ability to secure a very 
favorable public opinion for what he represents. 

In some lines the autocratic personality may prove to 
be a very high-grade and efficient executive. The 
commanding man who knows may secure effective team- 
work in his organization and the greater results. If 
efficiency is the only test, no one could secure better 
results than he. In some fields an autocratic organiza- 
tion may be much more effective than a democratic 
organization. Even in government an autocratic admin- 
istration is much more effective in securing immediate 
results than a democratic administration if the autocrat 
is wise, well trained, and benevolent. This truth has 
been well known for a long time, but only in recent 
years have we produced a Mussolini. In democracy 
there is too much debate, too much friction, too much 
uncertainty, and too much narrow-gauge politics. What 
has proven true in autocratic governmental administra- 
tion may prove true in industry and in many lines 
where executive capacity expresses itself. Of course, no 
one in this country will admit that in the long run 


autocratic governmental administration is superior to 
democratic administration, although the occasion does 
not warrant a proof for this contention here. 

There is no place, however, for the autocratic executive 
in social work. The very nature of social work and the 
conditions under which it must be carried on preclude 
this. The good will of coordinated, cooperative agencies, 
team work on the part of executives, the thorough, sympa- 
thetic cooperation of all factors in the organization, the 
cooperation of the public as a result of the purposes and 
aims of the social work organization all make impossible 
effective autocratic social work organization. 

When we say an executive must have a strong person- 
ality, what do we mean? Some would say that he must 
have personal, mental, and physical vigor to a high 
degree. However great these qualities may be, they are 
not indispensable. But the executive should give the 
impression of strength, and should make those who 
serve him or who depend upon him feel that in the work of 
his position he knows what to do and how to do it. 
Another executive may know as well what to do and how 
to do it, but if his appearance, his behavior, and his 
attitude, do not give the impression that he has an 
understanding of what his occupation requires of him, 
he begins and conducts his work under a great handicap. 
If he is compelled to spend time to convince those on the 
outside with whom he must officially deal as well as those 
within his organization that he has executive capacity, he 
is under a great handicap in competition with those in 
whom executive capacity is always assumed. Moreover, 
in the case of those with weak personalities, the organiza- 
tion is always in danger of going to pieces because of 
lack of confidence in the executive, and often supreme 
efforts have to be made to hold things together. 

A good executive must have a functional knowledge of 
the enterprise in which he is engaged. This consists of 


three things: (1) a knowledge of the underlying principles 
and functions of social work; (2) a knowledge of the 
purposes and aims of the social organization; and (3) a 
knowledge of the place of the organization in the field 
of social work. These functions are just as important 
in other executive enterprises especially in the different 
fields of business enterprise, as in social work. 

In his pamphlet, "The Development of Executive 
Talent, " Dr. W. W. Charters, director Bureau of Educa- 
tional Research Ohio State University presents the 
following analysis: 

Managerial background may be of three types. There is 
first what we call the functional background. By that term, 
we mean a background which is made up of the underlying 
principles and functions of business, a knowledge of the 
products of the company, and the place of the organization 
in the world of business. An executive with this functional 
background knows also the function of each of the divisions 
within the organization and apprehends the processes of 
marketing, production, distribution, and organization as 
they apply to his establishment. 

In addition to this functional background, there is in many 
institutions a need for a technical background. By this we 
mean a familiarity with those processes which are carried on 
within the organization to produce whatever product it is the 
business of the company to manufacture. We find in organi- 
zations which use highly specialized technical processes 
that the common procedure is to route the prospective execu- 
tive through all important divisions at a leisurely pace, so 
that he may in truth, as well as in appearance, master the 
essentials of the technique and thereby acquire this necessary 
technical background . . . 

The third element in executive background is considered 
to be of primary importance. This we may call the personnel 
background. By this term we mean a knowledge of people 
and an appreciation of their motives, their intentions, and 
their ambitions. This type of background cannot be com- 


pletely learned from books, although up to a certain point 
books are extremely useful . . . Some people naturally possess 
this ability or seem to acquire it with little effort; others are 
extremely slow in developing understanding. But in either 
case understanding can be deepened by training. 

Under the first of the three qualifications for functional 
knowledge, a knowledge of the underlying principles and 
functions of social work, there is implied the necessity of 
having a good education, at least a college education. 
Elsewhere we have pointed out the kind of education the 
professional social workers should have. The social 
executive should not have less than is required by the 
best schools of social work. The social worker should 
have training in the fundamental principles of the social 
sciences including history, sociology, economics, political 
science, and also biology, psychology, and social statis- 
tics. More than the fundamental courses in some of 
these sciences, notably sociology, economics, and psy- 
chology should be required. The social executive should 
have training in the so-called preprofessional courses, 
such as the family, immigration, races, public health, 
labor problems, etc. The social executive should also 
have specialized in some field of social work, such as 
case work, community organization, penology, recreation, 
or psychiatry. It would be better if the social executive 
functioned in some field in which he specialized, although 
this is not necessary. To have specialized in some field 
is important. He should, however, have a thorough 
knowledge of his own organization. If he is the executive 
of a family case-work society, he should know all the 
ramifications of case problems. If he had been a case 
worker and case supervisor, this would be a great asset to 
him. If he is to be an executive in charge of probation 
work, he should have studied criminology, penology, and 
criminal law; he should also know the purpose and 


philosophy of probation. Similar statements may also 
be made concerning the executive's familiarity with any 
field in which he is to be an executive. 

The executive should have a knowledge of the tech- 
niques of work over which he is an administrator. In 
this respect the social executive does not differ from other 
types of executives. 

The dry-goods jobber should be familiar with the 
techniques of the various departments of the jobbing 
house. He must be familiar with the purchasing market 
and he must know the time to buy, the place to buy, and 
all the conditions under which a jobber may buy; 
he should know the classes of goods which will sell best 
with profit to the store in each department; he should 
know also the classes of things on which most profit is 
made. He should know who are his best purchasers, 
and where, in the nature of things, his best potential 
market is and how it can be best cultivated. He should 
know when to give and when to withhold credit and when 
to seek credit for his institution. The methods of the 
traveling salesman and the types most successful should 
be known to him. He should, of course, be familiar with 
the best type of office organization and accounting 
systems for the particular type of house of which he is an 

The jobbing executive should have all this knowledge, 
not that he is going to function as director of the purchas- 
ing organization, as head of a department, as traveling 
salesmen, as credit manager, or as office manager, but 
so that he will be able to appreciate the efficiency of 
these various heads, to make constructive suggestions to 
them in conference, and to appraise the multitude of 
details which make up the store. He must be able also to 
inaugurate constructive suggestions when made, and 
keep his store abreast of the times in organization and 


The executive in social administration should have a 
knowledge of his organization comparable to that of the 
jobber. If he is the executive of an institution for 
delinquent boys, he should be familiar with the problems 
of organization and administration of an institution and, 
if it is organized on the cottage plan, he should be familiar 
with all problems and methods entering into cottage 
administration. There should be a policy of parole and 
placing, and here he should be familiar with all types of 
cases. He should know the best type of employer, 
guardian, home, or other situation in which a boy should 
be placed, and he should understand all the better 
methods of following up cases so as to know if the 
environment in which the boy is placed is best for this 
kind of boy. The institution for delinquent boys should 
be an educational as well as a disciplinary institution. 
As superintendent he should have the point of view 
of the better school superintendents in order that he may 
know the type of educational director to head the educa- 
tional work of the institution. The selection once made, 
he should know, too, whether or not the director is doing 
a good job. 

From the disciplinary point of view he should be famil- 
iar with the most advanced ideas with reference to the 
reclamation of boys of this sort while in school. How 
much control should be exercised? How much freedom 
should they enjoy? How much personal responsibility 
should they have in the institution to prepare them for 
personal control in adjustment to society when they leave 
the institution? These and many other questions of like 
nature the executive should be able to answer before he 
can successfully administer such an institution. 

In all these instances, as in that of executive of a 
jobbing house, the superintendent of the institution 
should not exercise direct control, and perhaps he should 
not exercise direct control in any department of his 


institution. He should, however, have an understanding 
of every phase of the work of his institution in order 
that he may have the comprehensive grasp of things 
which an executive should have if he is to administer it in 
an effective and progressive manner. What is said here 
with reference to the technical knowledge which the 
executive of an institution must possess will apply 
equally well to the social executive in charge of a case- 
work society, a playground association, a community 
center, a council of social agencies, or a community fund, 

An executive should be strong in personnel work 
because a wise selection of his staff is the most important 
function with which he can concern himself. This has 
to do with the employment of minor executives, with 
the selection of other employees so that each will be 
excellently adapted to the work he has to do, with the 
maintenance of an esprit de corps in his staff, and what- 
ever changes take place, with the maintenance of a 
strong organization to carry out the purposes of the 
organization of which he is the executive head. Whether 
the function of hiring is delegated or not, the executive is 
responsible for the maintenance of a strong organization. 

The social executive should be a leader. Leadership 
and strong personality usually go together, but there is no 
necessary connection between the two. A person may 
have a strong personality and not be a leader, and in 
exceptional cases a man may be a good leader and not 
have a strong personality. It is imperative that the 
great social executive should be a leader. 

What makes a man a leader of men or a leader in any 
field of activity? This question has occupied the serious 
thought of men in all ages, and many serious attempts 
have been made to describe what leadership is. Without 
going into these, it may be said that the leader is the 
embodiment of those qualities which are most highly 


prized by followers. These qualities are personal quali- 
ties, and if the leader is a leader in any particular 
department of life, he must possess qualities most highly 
appraised in the field of activity in which he is a 
prominent participant. The conditions which determine 
leadership in social work are no different from those 
which exist elsewhere where leadership expresses itself. 

Whatever the agency or institution which the executive 
heads, it may be possible for him to continue the methods 
and policies of his predecessor without change, and his 
clientele may be satisfied. In fact his board of directors 
and his clientele may be more satisfied if he pursues such a 
policy than if he pursues some other, because in this 
case they are not disturbed and each one, so far as he is 
concerned, can pursue the even tenor of his way. It is 
possible, too, for the executive who makes some progress 
and simply keeps up with the procession to please his 
board and his clientele. 

The great social executive, however, must have imagi- 
nation and vision. He should have a constructive 
imagination. He should see in advance the steps which 
his organization should take and gradually lead his board 
and his clientele forward as rapidly as it is possible for 
them to go. This process requires in him not only a 
constructive imagination but a knowledge of human 
nature, the good sense and judgment to know his 
clientele, and the capacity to lead them forward step by 
step to higher goals. 

Too much imagination without a sense of the appro- 
priateness of things may easily lead to ruin. Some 
executives can see into the distant future and wish to 
accomplish in a month or a year what would normally 
require a decade to accomplish. They fret and stew and 
make things disagreeable for everybody, and their 
experiments end in failure. Experiments which are 
based on an incapacity to see the other fellow's point of 


view, and which are the products of too vivid an imagina- 
tion inevitably result in failure. Some one has to start 
all over again, so that this executive usually does more 
harm than the conservative or reactionary executive. 

Of one of the latter class, Mr. Robert Kelso writes in 
the Survey of 1928: 

A while ago a committee sought an executive for a relief 
agency. There was a staff of visitors in this society and a 
grist of cases involving a good deal of work each year. The 
job has been run pretty much on a dole basis by persons grossly 
underpaid, watched over by a board of directors who met to 
hear reports of husbandry but did not direct. They realized 
that the work was being done for very little money, wherefore 
they were content. 

After looking over the field and viewing a few high priced 
prospects who didn't want the job unless they were to be 
given a chance to improve the service, the committee made 
this rare discovery, which many another of like kind had made 
before them, namely, that there was a minister who could be 
had at minister's pay. Being a preacher, he was, of course, 
honest, and having been trained to the pulpit, he was, of 
course, a leader. He took the job. 

After several years, this executive is still rendering exactly 
the service he gave at the beginning. His motions, fully 
satisfactory to the board, are well nigh automatic. The 
operation continues to be a dolanthropic interference in the 
family life of the poor, devoid of constructive planning for 
rehabilitation. The staff render loyal service. They work 
hard. They are worth about what they are paid, which is not 
quite a living wage. The executive is faithful, and will 
continue so unto death. So far as results can demonstrate 
it, however, there has been never a vision nor even a dream 
in the minds of that executive and his directors. Do faith- 
fully from day to day that which your hands find to do. In 
this case the brain was located below the wrist. 1 

1 The Survey, Vol. 57, p. 821. 


The position of the social executive is difficult because 
of the peculiar position in which he is placed. In a sense 
he is his own boss if he is a major executive. In business 
organization, the executive usually has an executive 
over him who is holding him responsible for results. 
If he is at the head of a business concern, he will have a 
board of trustees over him, to whom he is responsible and 
who will hold him responsible for results. The members 
of this board are usually selected because they have 
large financial interests in the concern and are capable 
of employing and supervising the work of the chief 
executive. Having large financial interests in the success 
of the enterprise and being responsible to the stock- 
holders who elected them, they will exercise a continuous 
check on the work of the executive and will hold him 
responsible for efficient management and for making 
profits for the enterprise. He feels continual pressure on 
him, for he knows that mistakes and failures will result 
in dismissal. 

The welfare executive does not usually feel such 
pressure. The members of his board are not financially 
interested in the success of the enterprise. They are 
interested only in a humanitarian way. They are often 
selected by him because they are interested in the work of 
his enterprise, and, if the executive is a conservative 
or reactionary, because they too are conservative or 
reactionary and will leave him alone. Most board 
members give only a perfunctory consideration to the 
work of their executive. If he gets along with other 
agencies and organizations and keeps out of trouble, 
board members will ordinarily be happy. The ideal 
executive for the complacent board is one who follows 
a routine, treadmill policy, and gives the members of the 
board little to do. 

Most board members do not have the capacity to check 
up on a social executive and to hold him responsible for a 


higher standard of work. When his work is highly 
efficient, there is no one to encourage him and he must 
go his way alone. The incapacity of members of his 
board to initiate new ideas throws this burden on him 
alone. If he is a great executive, he must be progressive 
and initiate new ideas, and in putting them in practice 
he often meets with antagonism and continued opposition 
from those who are distanced in the race. 

The good social executive must be on the firing line all 
the time. He must be informed on the best not only in 
his own line of work, but on that in other fields either 
directly or remotely related to his own. He must attend 
all the conferences in his own field and usually some 
conferences in many other lines of activity. 

As the success of his work depends largely on a favor- 
able public opinion, he must educate the public. This is 
usually not an easy thing to do, and in this respect social 
executives have usually been failures, since the public 
has never adequately appreciated social work in any field. 
The usual avenues of publicity are open to him. To 
succeed in an educational program, he should thoroughly 
understand the other fellow's point of view and use a 
language which all can understand. 

The social executive must be efficient. Here again he 
meets with difficulties not usually encountered by other 
executives. The business executive has efficiency sys- 
tems by which he can measure results, and consequently 
can know how his work compares from year to year, 
month to month, and day to day. Knowing these 
things he can experiment, introduce changes, and 
compare results. No methods of measuring results have 
been introduced in social work which have proved to be 
successful, and consequently no method is available to 
the social executive to prove his efficiency. In social 
case work, we talk about a case load, and say that no 
social worker should carry more than a certain number 


of cases and that every case worker should carry a 
minimum load. But even where the case worker carries 
a reasonable load, we are unable to measure the efficiency 
of his work. We can check up on quantity, but we 
have but little check on quality since the results are to be 
found in human elements that are intangible. Two 
case workers may each carry the same load, but the 
effectiveness of the one may be immeasurably greater 
than that of the other. 

Although there are many things common to all 
executives, the work of the social executive is more 
difficult than that of others, since he deals more than 
others with human, personal relations, and the results 
are more or less intangible. The social sciences are not 
exact sciences and so long as this is the case the social 
executive must deal more or less with the immeasurable. 
But the social sciences are becoming more definite, 
results are becoming more measurable, and with these 
changes to which the social worker can contribute, the 
work of the social executive will become more simplified. 


In a number of schools of social administration courses 
are offered in social research. The training afforded by 
these courses in method serves a threefold purpose. It 
offers a general or introductory training to those who 
would specialize in social research; it offers to all social 
workers a means of analytical approach to the puzzling 
problems they are bound to encounter; and it serves to 
equip future social executives with a working knowledge 
of the functions of research. 

There is a growing field of service for people trained in 
research methods who may devote all their time to 
research projects. The advancement of social work in 
this country in the last twenty years may be traced 
largely to the research work in all lines of activities in 
which social workers engage. A bibliography of the 
publications in social work shows that researchers have 
been busy. Specialists in research today are found not 
alone in the universities and schools of social work, 
but in the foundations, in government bureaus, in state 
departments, in clinics, and in social agencies, local, state, 
and national. 

For all students in training for social work some 
training in research methods should be an imperative 
requirement. Social work assumes the improvement of 
adjustments, individual and social; it also assumes the 
improvement of social conditions in order that the 
individual or group may be adjusted to a better state of 
society. These things bring to the social worker a 
group of problems which challenge his highest intel- 



ligence. Any satisfactory solution of a social problem 
involves a knowledge of all the facts which give rise to the 
problem, and a knowledge of the group of relationships in 
which the problem has its setting. If a social worker is a 
vital force in any community he must be equipped to 
study his own problems and analyze his own work. If he 
cannot do this he follows precedents and works by rule of 

Courses in method give the best possible training in the 
development of a discriminating judgment. And who 
more than the social worker needs the development of this 
quality? He must continually exercise a discriminating 
judgment between the superficial and thorough in social 
work and in social workers, between what is transient 
and what is permanent, and between what is ill-advised 
and what is sound in social policies. 

Training in social research is of great value to the 
social executive. All social workers should receive 
training to be social executives because the great majority 
of them should look forward to becoming either major or 
minor executives. Social investigation is important in 
training the executive to exercise administrative control 
over his work. It enables him (1) to analyze his prob- 
lems in order to have a basis for the development of his 
programs and policies; (2) to evaluate the results of his 
programs and policies; (3) to carry on scientific experi- 
ments concerning the handling of social problems; (4) to 
evaluate workers through their performances; (5) to 
establish a fact basis for the approval of the policies of his 
work and his organization; and (6) to establish a fact 
basis for adequate publicity for his work and his organiza- 
tion. The problem of organizing new enterprises or 
developing new lines of work in his organization comes 
frequently to every major executive. What to do in 
each instance can be determined only after an adequate 


One reason for the poor quality of much that is recog- 
nized as social work is the fact that some one under the 
impulse of sentiment has gotten some money together 
and started an activity upon the basis of some supposed 
need without any real knowledge of the need and without 
knowing whether what was being done made things 
better or worse. Every one knows the results of indis- 
criminate charity, but there are many other forms of 
malpractice in welfare work not so well known as this one. 

One case will illustrate the necessity of a scientific 
approach to social problems. A banker in a village of 
eight hundred inhabitants died and left $30,000 to be 
used for the benefit of the village. Some of the villagers 
wanted the money used to pave the streets of the village, 
others wanted a monument built near the center of the 
village, while the undertaker wanted the highway paved 
to the cemetery. The custodian of the funds employed 
an expert from outside the community to study his 
problem. The study revealed a lack of teamwork 
between the various groups in the village and between 
the people of the village and those in the country that the 
village was attempting to serve economically, and should 
have been serving socially. With all the details in 
mind the research worker recommended the investment 
of the money and the use of its proceeds to employ a 
community secretary or leader who would work with all 
the groups in the community to develop teamwork among 
them, and to foster a community pride and a community 
consciousness that would revitalize all the forces of the 

The social executive should be able to appreciate the 
value of expert criticism and know where he can go to get 
the right kind of help. He should be studying his own 
activities all the time, but he may need the help of large 
surveys which he may not have the time nor the staff to 
make and which, in the nature of things, should be made 


by disinterested groups outside the city. In such 
instances the social worker should be able to appreciate 
the value of such surveys and to know where to go to 
employ competent investigators. 

In this respect the need for training of the social 
executive in social investigation is not unlike the need for 
training in business law by the student in business 
administration. All colleges of business administration 
require their students to take courses in business law, not 
to enable them to handle the legal problem with which 
the business man is confronted, but to enable them to 
appreciate the relationship of legal situations in their 
business affairs and to know when legal counsel and 
advice should be sought. So, too, should the social 
executive know when expert service in investigation 
should be sought and where he should go to get it. 

A part of the equipment for the study of any subject is 
a very considerable knowledge of the subject itself, or at 
least of the field within which it lies. It is difficult to 
see how one can use any method of research without being 
familiar with the facts which he is using. I have seen 
mathematical studies made involving the plotting of 
curves where the investigator was innocent of the 
phenomena he was using, as was clearly shown by the 
conclusions he drew. A statistical investigator in 
economics should know economic phenomena and a 
statistical investigator in sociology and in social work 
should be a student of social phenomena. One of the 
reasons why statistics are in disrepute among many, is 
that the statistical method is so often used by those 
unfamiliar with the subject studied, in which case the 
conclusions drawn are usually fallacious and sometimes 
absurd. In a sense, therefore, all the courses offered in 
schools of social administration are involved in training 
for research, for all contribute to an understanding of the 
subject matter with which the student will be concerned. 


Research is scientific to the extent that the methods 
used are adapted to the subject. In certain researches 
the statistical method should be used, in others the case 
method is best suited to the investigation, and still others 
lend themselves to the historical method. Most studies, 
involve a combination of two or even three methods. 
The research worker should know each method and 
should have the good sense to use each, as suits the pur- 
pose best. All students, therefore, should receive some 
training in research; (1) in the statistical method; (2) 
in the case method; and (3) in the historical method. In 
the statistical or quantitative method a large number of 
measurable characteristics are separated from related 
data and are compared. Only a few definite relation- 
ships are analyzed, and the value of the study is deter- 
mined by the usefulness of the characteristics considered. 
The study is quantitative, since the validity of the con- 
clusions is determined largely by the number of cases 
taken into account after a careful analysis has shown that 
the units considered arc comparable. The case method 
is used when the relationships in the case studied are 
numerous and complex and when they do not lend them- 
selves to statistical measurement. This method is 
used when the case studied is a type or when it is used in 
constructing or testing a hypothesis. The historical 
method is of growing importance in social research, 
especially in combination with the statistical, for plan- 
ning necessitates prediction and prediction involves the 
study of past sequences. In the limited time which can 
be given to the teaching of research to students in training 
for social work, perhaps the best introduction to the 
historical method is through an analysis of standard 
historical researches with the purpose of pointing out 
the essential features in them. 

Training in social research should be training in applied 
logic with the teaching of techniques a secondary matter, 


for technical methods while essential are only incidental, 
and the acquisition of great skill and speed of performance 
is not the vital thing. Skills are tools of investigation 
and may be easily acquired. The logical method charac- 
teristic of all science is the essence of research and is not 
easily acquired. This method with special application to 
social research, together with the relationship of 
techniques to the method, constitutes the subject matter 
of the research courses. 

Complete laboratories for social investigation cannot 
be set up on a university campus or in a school of social 
work. The limitations of social research occasioned by 
the fact that the subjects are human beings and cannot be 
experimented upon have often been pointed out. Social 
studies involve access to human material for interviews 
and to social agencies and other community sources for 
social records, and such facilities are not ordinarily 
available on the campus or at the school. The school 
may offer office facilities for the analysis of the data once 
gathered, but for the collection of the material field work 
is as necessary as in botany or geology and far more 
exacting, since it depends upon the cooperation of the 
human material involved. 

To teach even the rudiments of social investigation as a 
curriculum requirement for all students involves the 
method of class projects for community purposes. In 
finding subjects for investigation the schools of social 
work are fortunate, as projects awaiting investigation are 
to be found in all communities where people in consider- 
able numbers are assembled. Such projects are neces- 
sarily statistical inquiries of a simple kind, for only 
in this type of study, where the subject matter of the 
interview may be pretty fully anticipated and standard- 
ized, can each member of a large group of beginners be 
brought face to face with the defects in his own thinking 
and the natural limitations imposed by the method of the 


interview, while acquiring the beginnings of skill in the 
process of exploring the minds of others. 

This cooperative arrangement is welcome to the com- 
munity because the school gives to the community a 
large number of hours of field work, in some cases almost 
as large a number of hours of office work, and not a few 
hours of skilled supervision, all of which in the aggregate 
would cost considerable sums of money if paid for on a 
commercial basis. Such services are, however, essential 
to the study of many problems involving mass phe- 
nomena. Organizations are in many cases quite willing 
to pay for most of the clerical work involved in the 
analysis of problems if the school will furnish field workers 
and supervision. As an illustration a recent example 
may be cited. 

The supporters of a settlement asked that a survey be 
made of the population elements in a community where 
the settlement operated, because they were in doubt 
concerning the wisdom of a program. They agreed to 
furnish the funds necessary for materials and some office 
work. The settlement, established many years ago 
by a religious organization, was attempting to serve the 
needs of a foreign population group which was numerous 
in the locality when the settlement was founded. The 
survey showed that the negroes were in a great majority 
in the community, having displaced the foreign group 
which was there when the settlement was established. 
The study revealed also various errors in dealing with the 
population groups which were supposed to make use of 
the settlement. As a result of the survey many changes 
are being made in attacking the problems of the settle- 
ment. The committee at a very small expenditure of 
time and money had their basic questions answered. 
The students had their technical training and an introduc- 
tion to some of the fundamentals of scientific inquiry 
involving the statistical method. The students worked 


with energy because they were a real part of a community 
activity. The university furnished the expert direction 
of the study and the office quarters including the modern 
machines and equipment involved in statistical study. 

The ideal teaching arrangement would be a close 
connection between schools of social administration and 
bureaus of social research equipped to furnish field 
work to students. In the absence of such an arrange- 
ment some of the teaching advantages may be had in 
return for rendering the services of such a bureau. 
The problems of organization and supervision are, 
however, more difficult than in a regularly established 
bureau and the teaching of such courses, like the teaching 
of social case work, must be in the hands of people with 
specialized training in the administration of research 
undertakings acquired in recognized research organi- 
zations. The teacher should have also a real interest in 
this rather complicated variety of the project method of 
teaching. Whether or not students do an acceptable 
quality of work is dependent almost entirely on the 
judgment of their teacher in accepting only relatively 
simple studies for them and in the quality of the super- 
vision afforded them. 

Such an introductory course may be followed by individ- 
ual or small group undertakings of a more difficult 
nature. A revision of the reporting system of all Ohio 
tuberculosis sanatoriums recently took place as a result 
of the analysis of records by a senior student in social 
administration. In this instance the State Department 
of Health, the National Tuberculosis Association, and the 
Ohio Public Health Association contributed, with Ohio 
State University, to the joint undertaking. Another 
senior student made an analysis of the membership and 
attendance at several of the recent national conferences of 
social work as a basis for planning the conference pro- 
grams. To this study both the conference and the univer- 


sity contributed. Such studies offer fewer difficulties and 
show more results than class projects, but they are made 
by students who have had the initial training of the class 

Courses in social research cannot be taught effectively 
without relatively high costs per student, for the super- 
vision necessary is considerable and necessitates trained 
assistance. Such courses are necessary, however, if the 
graduates are to be equipped professionally. 


The case method of teaching was first developed by the 
colleges of law. In 1871 Langdell of Harvard abandoned 
the method of teaching law by textbooks and endeavored 
to teach the principles of law from a study of selected 
cases. This method, which was at first thought to be 
revolutionary, has now become the accepted method of 
teaching law in all the prominent law schools of the 

The advocates of this method of instruction claim that 
by it the student is given a more systematic view of the 
principles of law and a better idea of their historical 
development than he could obtain by deductive study 
through the use of textbooks. 1 It is, moreover, claimed 
that the case method is the scientific method of teaching 
law; that law has its own phenomena; that it should be 
studied first hand; and that the decision of the judge is 
the law in the case at the time it is made. "The case 
method in law is essentially a study of descriptive 
statements, as shown by the evidence, with a concluding 
decision of the judge applying the law in a given case." 2 
In other words, it is a complete description of a situation 
with the reasoning for a definite solution or decision. 

By the case method of teaching law, the student learns 
something about the social relations in which law arises 
and also of the facts and their relationships with which 
he must deal as a lawyer; he learns to reason by analogy 
and to see how a rule is applied to a complex set of rela- 

1 STEINER, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 26, p. 602. 

2 LYONS, RONALD FOKUM, Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting 
of the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. 



tionships, and in this way he learns the principles of the 
law; he learns that where the decision solves significant 
issues it becomes a rule of law; he learns, by the case 
method of teaching, too, the important judicial decisions 
that have been made; moreover, he learns the technique of 
legal practice, since the method pursued in studying the 
case indicates the method which must be followed in 
investigating his own cases, in collecting the factual 
material with which he must deal, and in reasoning from 
this material to the solution of the case. 

In the colleges of business administration which were 
developed in the United States contemporaneously with 
schools of social administration, a case method of teaching 
has also developed. In the earlier colleges, the older 
methods of teaching prevailed, teaching from textbooks 
and by the quiz-and-lecture method of instruction. 
One college, the Harvard School of Business Administra- 
tion, is now using the case method of teaching exclusively, 
while all the better schools are teaching some of their 
courses by the case method of instruction. 

Appreciating that cases for a particular course must be 
collected before that course can be taught by the case 
method of instruction, the Graduate School of Business 
Administration of Harvard University requires its 
Bureau of Business Research to serve the purposes of its 
teaching organization by employing members of its 
staff in collecting and assembling business cases. These 
men, who are graduates of the School of Business Admin- 
istration, go to all parts of the country to collect a great 
variety of cases, which are assembled and classified by 
the teacher of the subject and put in book form for class- 
room purposes. Before the course is given the professor 
is allowed practically a year's time to prepare to give it by 
assembling and classifying the material and publishing it. 

In order that we may see one kind of problem which 
business students are required to workout, I have selected 


one at random from Melvin T. Copeland's "Problems 
of Marketing/' in the field of retail trade. 


The Burnside Clothing Company owned a store situated in 
an industrial suburb of Chicago. This suburb had a popula- 
tion of about 50,000 people. Three neighboring suburbs 
had a population of about 12,000 each. These suburbs 
were located about 12 to 15 miles from the center of the city. 
The three smaller suburbs had electric car service to the large 
suburb, which in turn was connected with the city by both 
steam and electric lines. 

The annual sales of this retail store, which sold men's shoes 
and men's clothing, in 1918 were about $175,000, roughly one- 
third shoes and two-thirds clothing. Of the shoes sold in that 
year about 65 per cent retailed for $8 per pair, about 25 per cent 
for less, and about 10 per cent for more than that figure. This 
firm sold almost exclusively shoes that bore its private brand. 
It was competing mainly with smaller suburban stores in 
medium and low price goods and with the larger city stores 
in medium and high price goods. The sales of the shoe 
department in this store yielded an average gross profit of 
29.8 per cent in 1918. It turned its stock 2.1 times. 

During 1919 the proprietors of the store considered a 
proposal to sell all shoes in future at a flat gross mark-up of 
$1 per pair. For example, a pair of shoes costing $5.50 
would have been sold at retail in this store under the new 
plan for $6.50. It was proposed to make this price policy 
the most conspicuous feature of the firm's advertising. If the 
plan were adopted, the quality of the goods was to be main- 
tained. The mark-up on clothing was to be continued at 
the same rate as in preceding years. 

Should the Burnside Clothing Company have adopted this 
policy? What was likely to be the effect of such a policy 
upon the patronage of the store? 1 

For each case book a key is prepared by the author to 
be used by the teacher of the course. In each case it is 

1 COPELAND, "Problems in Marketing," p. 39. 


suggested that the key be used only as an aid to the 
teacher and that the answers in the key should be con- 
sidered only as possible solutions of the problems. 

Although colleges of business administration train 
technicians such as accountants, statisticians, adver- 
tisers, etc., it has always been assumed that the primary 
purpose of the colleges is to train business executives. 
It is not assumed that when he graduates the young man 
is qualified for the job of a major executive. All large 
business enterprises have many minor executives of 
varying degrees of responsibility, and it is in such posi- 
tions as these, as well as at the head of a small independ- 
ent business, that the graduate may find a place. One of 
the first problems for the school of business adminis- 
tration to solve, then, is: What is the job of the business 

Aside from a thorough organization of the offices of the 
business to handle adequately its administrative prob- 
lems, the business executive must solve many problems 
with reference to the successful administration of the 
business which come to him. He must analyze thor- 
oughly every situation which arises, gather and appraise 
all facts which have a bearing on the question at hand, 
and after considering all the precedents which are avail- 
able arrive at a conclusion and put into practice policies 
in harmony with his conclusions. 

Will the case method of teaching prepare the student to 
do these things? The advocates of this method claim 
that it is possible to collect all types of cases which an 
executive must handle, state all the factors w r hich enter 
into their solution, and make these available to the 
student as problems for solution. If this contention is 
true, the case method of teaching offers the best possible 
training for the student desiring to become an executive, 
because it gives the student all the information which an 
executive has when he reaches his conclusions. It has 


been claimed that the case method of teaching business 
administration lacks the definiteness of the case method 
in law, since in law the solution of the problem is the 
decision of the judge, and the judicial decision is the law 
for this case until the decision is reversed. Business 
decisions consequently lack the authority of judicial deci- 
sions. However, in business decisions, years of applica- 
tion have followed decisions and it is known how well 
business policies based on decision have worked. 

As has been indicated above, not all the work of the 
executive consists in the solution of business problems. 
He must organize his office or offices, and he must dis- 
tribute office functions among many office employees. 
He must delegate all routine work, and reserve to 
himself the handling of only the major problems of the 
business. In this respect, many executives fail. For 
this reason, some claim that the most important work 
of the executive is the organization of the office and the 
distribution of the functions of the business. 

In the solution of the problems of business, some princi- 
ples have been so well established, like the above on the 
distribution of functions and the delegation of authority 
and responsibility, that they have all the validity of a 
rule of law. These can be taught to students, and they 
can be emphasized by requiring students to make their 
application in a variety of hypothetical cases. 

It is becoming difficult for the student to receive train- 
ing in business as an apprentice. Business is becoming 
too much differentiated, and the employee usually enters 
business in a routine job. The sort of experience he 
acquires here does not prepare him to be an executive. 
Moreover, executives do not now have the time and do 
not care to be bothered with the breaking in of new men 
into jobs. 

Although doctors use the case system in the practice of 
medicine, the case system of teaching as it is used in law, 


business administration, and in social work is not used in 
the medical college ; laboratory and other facilities for the 
teaching of medicine are not available for the teaching of 
law, business, and social work. Laboratory methods are 
used in the teaching of all the foundation sciences upon 
which medicine is based. Clinical facilities and observa- 
tion work are required in the hospitals associated with 
medical colleges, and now it is the practice to require 
graduates from medical colleges to remain a year longer 
in hospitals as internes assisting in medical cases before 
they go out to practice medicine. 


Social-case-work teaching arose long before schools of 
social work were established. It began with the appren- 
ticeship method of instruction in those agencies which 
dealt with family and individual problems before the 
social workers appreciated the true significance of social 
diagnosis. Societies giving family relief, especially the 
charity organization societies, appreciated relatively 
early that care should be taken in handling family 
problems and that a great amount of harm could be done 
by stupid and ignorant social workers. 1 The keeping 
of records, although crude, was found to be necessary 
wherever the family came back for help a second and a 
third time, and especially when some one else than the 
original family worker handled the case. How these 
records have gradually improved until now there is a 
very elaborate and definite technique in the handling 
of individual and family problems is now well known to 
every social worker. 

Even in the early stages above described, when simple 
records were kept, and as soon as some system in handling 
individual and family problems was recognized, some 
apprenticeship was considered necessary before the 
worker was permitted to handle individual or family 
problems. The method of procedure usually followed 

1 The beginnings of case work are to be found in the work of the societies 
founded by St. Vincent De Paul in the first half of the seventeenth 
century. "He devised rules worked out in great detail to guard against 
indiscriminate giving. Before a case could be visited it had to be passed 
by the treasurer." See Watson, "The Charity Organization Movement 
in the United States," p. 17. 



was to give the apprentice a number of records to read 
representing as great a variety of cases as possible, and 
these records or cases would then be discussed with an 
experienced worker in the office. The apprentice would 
also go out with an experienced case worker on his visits 
to observe how he approached the family, how he obtained 
his information from others, and how he handled the 
family problem. The length of the apprenticeship of 
this sort and the thoroughness of it depended entirely 
upon the agency. As the work developed in the larger 
cities and became more definitely organized, a longer and 
more thorough system of apprenticeship was required. 
It must not be inferred, however, that in all case-work 
organizations, a good system of apprenticeship or of 
training is required even today. In many juvenile courts 
and other organizations dealing with individual and 
family problems, members of staffs are permitted to 
deal with delicate individual and family problems without 
even the crude and elementary apprenticeship training 
which I have described above as representative of the 
beginnings of case-work teaching. When the first 
schools for the training of social workers were organized, 
however, less than thirty years ago, a definite technique 
had been developed for the handling of individual and 
family problems, and in some organizations a definite 
system of apprenticeship was required before the candi- 
date became a case worker. 

These organizations placed some of their better cases 
for teaching purposes in the hands of the apprentice, 
discussed them with him, and supplemented his field- 
work visits with the family case worker. When the 
schools were first organized, the case system of teaching 
technique was adopted by the schools wherever family 
and individual problems were involved. 

To teach social case work successfully, the collection of 
a large number of typical cases representing a great 


variety of conditions under which individual and family 
problems were handled, is necessary. At the outset, 
case-work teaching developed very slowly because 
suitable cases had not been collected and put in satis- 
factory form for teaching. 

It is much more difficult to collect cases for the teaching 
of social case work than it is to collect cases for the teach- 
ing of law or business administration. Legal cases 
involve the decision of courts, and these are public and 
may be used by any one. Business cases include factors 
taken into consideration by business men in reaching 
conclusions, and in adopting business policies. There is 
no particular reason why secrecy should be observed in 
considering these cases. 

In social work, the situations are very different. The 
cases deal with human beings and family relationships, 
and feelings are injured and individuals and families are 
often humiliated when publicity is given to their problems. 
Moreover, social work itself is defeated when those con- 
cerned are identified and publicity is given to a solution of 
their problems. For those reasons, names must be 
concealed, and the case must be handled where and under 
conditions in which the persons dealt with cannot be 
identified. Because of this, some cases cannot be used, 
and in others, only a limited publicity can be given to 
them. In accomplishing the latter purpose, many cases 
are not printed, but are typewritten and placed in the 
hands of teachers of social case work with the understand- 
ing that they be used cautiously and that they shall not 
be printed. Under these circumstances, social-case-work 
teachers are laboring under handicaps under which the 
case-work teachers of law or of business do not labor. 1 

this from "Social Case Histories," not published and 
confidential, which were issued by the Charity Organization Department 
of the Russell Sage Foundation, New York, December, 1911. 

"The attempt to print, even without publication, this first of a scries 
of social work case histories is full of difficulty. We can easily conceal 


In spite of these handicaps, case-work teaching should 
be the recognized method of teaching the solution of 
individual and family problems. Other methods, how- 
ever, should be used in the teaching of social work. 
There is still plenty of room for the textbook-and-lecture, 
the textbook-and-quiz, the problem-and-question, and 
the case-illustration methods of teaching. Everything 
depends on circumstances; some methods are better for 
some purposes and others for other purposes. Every- 
thing favors the use of a variety of methods. 

In the so-called prevocational courses, usually other 
methods than the social case method of instruction are 
used. Courses on the family should precede case 
courses dealing with individual and family problems. A 
large body of knowledge has been accumulated on the 
family, many volumes have been written dealing not only 
with the present form of the family throughout the world, 
but with the changes which marriage and the family 
have undergone. The student of family case work 
should have this knowledge as a prerequisite to a thor- 
ough understanding of individual and family problems. 
Excellent textbooks have been written on this subject, 
and there is every reason why the textbook coupled with 
some other method should be used as the most economical 
method of putting the student in possession of the body of 
knowledge which he should have on this subject. 

the identity of a medical case without lessening the scientific value of the 
record, but, in striving to edit a few case histories that will have, it is 
hoped, some value for the student of social work, we are confronted at 
the very start by the fact that it is almost impossible to conceal the 
identity of a social history subject without suppressing essential data. 
In suppressing the name of the city in which the work is done, for instance, 
we dispense with a large group of facts that has a direct bearing upon 
the result. Again, other things being equal, recent records are more 
valuable because they illustrate present practice and emphasize, as 
in the history which follows, the importance of solving some unsolved 
problem. But the more recent the record, the more easy and dangerous 
the identification." 


Courses such as those on dependent adults and child 
welfare, which should also precede the teaching of social- 
case-work courses, should be taught to a certain extent, in 
the interests of time economy, by the textbook, quiz, and 
lecture methods of teaching. The case method of 
instruction should be used as the highest form of teaching 
of social work, but before it is used, the student should 
be equipped with the largest possible body of knowledge 
to aid him in the solution of the delicate, difficult, and 
complex problems which he must solve in family case 
work. In these courses the case method of teaching can 
be used to a certain extent, and especially the case- 
illustration method, but in these courses there is a 
considerable body of knowledge in books and in pamphlet 
literature on dependent adults and the handling of their 
problems, and also on child welfare, and there is every 
reason why this literature should be thoroughly digested 
by students as a preparation to the solution of family 
problems which comes later. Consequently, in these 
courses reference assignments in books, pamphlet 
literature, and even in textbooks should be freely 

Courses on probation and parole should be taught by 
the social case method. The student should have, how- 
ever, much prerequisite work before he receives instruc- 
tion by this method. He should study methods of legal 
procedure, the organization and administration of courts 
which handle delinquent cases, the police system and its 
functions, penal institutions and their history, the history 
and theory of punishment, the criminal, and the various 
causes of crime so far as they have already been analyzed 
and classified. A combination of the textbook, lecture, 
and problem methods of teaching such material can be 
used to great advantage in the economy of the student's 
time. Since both probation and parole require the use 
of social agencies to adjust and reclaim the delinquent, 


a knowledge of community resources is absolutely 
essential to successful probation and parole work. 

All successful probation work requires that the delin- 
quent be reached individually. To help him to adjust 
himself, a thorough knowledge of his case is necessary. 
This involves a diagnosis which will take into account 
all the possible causes which have brought him to his 
present state of mind. Are the causes physical? A 
complete physical diagnosis is necessary, in which his 
past physical condition is gone into, including prenatal 
factors and the physical and mental history of his 
ancestors. What is his mental status? He should be 
thoroughly tested mentally for insanity, feeble-minded- 
ness, psychopathy, or any other mental defects. If he 
docs not prove to be feeble-minded it should be deter- 
mined by test whether or not he is of low-grade intelli- 
gence. His mental history should also be considered. 
What about his social adjustments and social history? 
His case history should be studied. This will include his 
present social adjustments and his social adjustments 
in the past, including his home and family reactions and 
the influences there determining his conduct, his adjust- 
ments to the school, to the immediate community in 
which he lives, and to all his other relationships. It is 
only when he considers the case from this threefold point 
of view that the social worker is capable of diagnosing the 
causes of the delinquency of the case. When he docs 
this, if he has a knowledge of the social forces and the 
various social resources near and far, he may make the 
adjustments for the delinquent which will in turn reclaim 
him as a law-abiding citizen of the community. 

One of the best possible ways of getting the delinquent 
or any one adjusted is through the process of diagnosis. 
The social worker shall help the delinquent to explore 
his mental attitudes and mental life and by this process 


bring about a change in the mental attitudes which have 
made him a case. 

We have at the present time varied recorded experience 
along the above lines in handling delinquent cases. 
These may be made available to students who wish to 
study the handling of various types of cases. The stu- 
dent may become familiar with the technique and the 
principles involved in the handling of these cases. The 
student can study probation and parole successfully in 
no other way unless he is apprenticed to one of the few 
high-grade agencies in the country that are handling 
these problems scientifically and begins his work with the 
prerequisite background of training above described. 
He cannot be prepared to be a successful probation or 
parole officer by the textbook, lecture, or any other 
method of teaching. 

The attitude in Great Britain toward case- work train- 
ing is very different from that which prevails in this 
country. In comparing the social-work teaching in 
Great Britain and the United States, Miss Macadam in 
her book "The Equipment of the Social Worker" points 
out that the American schools are much more professional 
and emphasize the technique of social treatment much 
more than the British schools, the British schools empha- 
sizing fundamental principles and the philosophy of social 

Referring to our case-work courses, this author makes 
the following observations : 

The words "Case" and "Case work" as applied to human 
beings are not popular in this country, and the insistence on 
such subjects as "principles of case work," "case analysis" 
in the time-tables of American schools perhaps unreasonably 
exasperates the British social worker. There is something 
to our ideas repellent in a class of fifty students with type- 
written records of a life history of, say, an unmarried mother 
in their hands discussing minutely the diagnosis and treatment 


of an unfortunate example of "social maladjustment." Such 
a class can be extraordinarily well conducted by an able and 
sympathetic teacher, but in less experienced hands may 
produce that mediocre uniformity and rigidity of outlook 
that is fatal in a social worker. The successful handling of 
individual human lives presents such incalculable elements 
that it can hardly be compared with the study of the more 
exact sciences. The best type of "case worker" is endowed 
with inborn gifts, and will gain experience in actual work, 
not in the classroom dissection of case papers. 1 

The case method of teaching is difficult and should not 
be used by any one except those who have the back- 
ground of training and knowledge to use it successfully. 
The successful handling of human lives involves prob- 
lems much more complex and difficult than are met with 
in the more exact sciences, but since this is true, does it 
imply that the social worker should be less well trained 
than those who deal with the problems of the more 
exact sciences? On the contrary, is it not an argument 
for giving the social worker better training than is 
received by those who deal with the problems of the 
more exact sciences? Those who are receiving train- 
ing to handle these intricate and difficult problems should 
be permitted to see all the elements which enter into the 
solution of difficult human situations and should have 
some practice under able guidance in solving problems of 
all sorts of complexity before they begin to deal with 
actual human situations where so much is at stake. We 
are willing to admit that "The best type of case worker is 
endowed with inborn gifts, " but how are we to know in 
advance who are endowed with "inborn gifts?" The 
author says that those so endowed "will gain experience 
in actual work, not in the classroom dissection of case 
papers. " While these favored souls are gaining experi- 
ence in actual work, they may do an incalculable amount 

1 MACADAM, "The Equipment of the Social Worker/' p. 189. 


of harm to human lives before they become good social 
workers. But what about those individuals who do not 
have " inborn gifts" but who learn all they will ever know 
by doing, the bunglers in social work who go on through 
life doing an irretrievable amount of harm in the name of 
philanthropy and human welfare? 

Before he can practice medicine, a man must have a 
license which indicates that he has training and experi- 
ence which qualify him to deal with physical disease. 
He should also be the possessor of "inborn traits," but 
no presumption of "inborn traits" entitles him to go out 
and murder people before he acquires the knowledge and 
skill which make him a skillful practitioner. 

Case-work courses are particularly valuable where the 
formation of a judgment and the adoption of a social 
policy are involved. As was stated above, successful 
case work cannot be carried on in the so-called pre- 
professional courses. Nor can the case-work method be 
used successfully in courses on social investigation or 
social statistics. The methods used in the latter case are 
discussed elsewhere. 

There are, to be sure, certain courses which cannot be 
taught by the case method most efficiently, but social- 
case-work teaching may be broadened to include 
objectives not generally contemplated now in the field. 
Itis used too exclusively now in teaching the technique of 
social procedure, and in this respect but little advance- 
ment has been made, so far as objectives are concerned, 
over its use to train apprentices before the schools of 
social work were organized. If social case work is used 
simply to teach craftmen, this method of teaching is 
falling far short of its possibilities. The case-method of 
teaching law has been adopted as the best method of 
teaching the principles of law. In business education, 
the case method is used as the best method not only of 
teaching business principles, but for the training of 


business executives. May not the case-method be used 
just as successfully in teaching the principles of social 
work as in teaching the principles of law and of business? 

Much difference in purpose and emphasis prevails in 
the schools of social work in this country on the teaching 
of case work. Some use it to teach technique; other 
schools use it not only to teach technique but to teach the 
principles of social work. Some schools offer several 
courses to teach technique, including elementary and 
advanced courses. Courses are offered not only on 
family case work, but child- welfare work, juvenile 
probation work, psychiatric social work, etc. If social- 
case-work courses are taught with the purpose of teaching 
technique, it is inconceivable to me that more than two 
substantial courses can be offered one on the funda- 
mentals of case work and another on case recording. 
Whatever the purpose of case-work teaching, the two 
above-named courses should be fundamental to all others. 
If case work is used to teach the principles of social work, 
then there is no limit to the number of case-work courses 
which may be offered. In the latter case the title of the 
course should suggest the subject matter rather than the 
method of teaching the course. On this account where 
the purpose of the course is to teach subject matter and 
principles, the policy of law schools and schools of busi- 
ness administration should be followed. It is a great 
mistake to designate a course as Case Work Number 1, 
Case Work Number 2, etc., when the purpose of the 
course is to teach subject matter and principles, rather 
than to illustrate a technique. 

So far as principles of procedure and policies of social 
work are established as a result of the handling of 
individual and family problems, principles of social work 
may be taught by the social-case-work method. Very 
definite policies in handling homeless, dependent, and 
delinquent children have been established and are 


generally accepted. These policies have grown out of the 
handling of individual cases. The same may be said of 
handling the problems of dependent families. May not 
the teaching of social case work be used to show how 
these policies and principles have been developed from 
the handling of specific cases, and if so, is there a better 
method to teach the principles of social work so far as 
they pertain to individuals and families? Since the 
social executive must deal to a certain extent with the 
principles and policies established in this way, should not 
social case work be accepted as a factor in the training of 
the social executive? 


For the following reasons the importance of thorough- 
ness in case recording cannot, on account of its service- 
ableness, be over-emphasized. These reasons may be 
briefly stated as follows: (1) its value to the social worker 
who handles the case ; (2) its value to other social workers 
who may take up the case; (3) its value in the training of 
social workers by the case method; (4) its value as a 
contribution to social science. 

The leading social workers of the country are not 
satisfied with the present methods of case recording as a 
basis of social diagnosis and treatment, but they are not 
in agreement as to the best ways of improving case 
records. These short-comings in case records are due 
chiefly to two things: (1) the majority of social case 
workers are uneducated and untrained; (2) funds are 
inadequate to carry on satisfactorily the work of societies 
doing case work. The majority of these societies require 
their case workers to carry heavy loads, and on this 
account the case work is not thorough and the case 
records are inadequate. Moreover, this situation is 
likely to continue for some time to come. 

Some agencies are adequately financed, do a high type 
of case work, and keep good records. Others that are 
well financed are not doing good case work, and many 
others could be adequately financed if they appreciated 
the importance of good case work and of good record 

If case work and case records are to be improved, how 
shall it be done? Professor Edwin W. Burgess, of the 



University of Chicago, in an article in Social Forces 
entitled "What Social Case Records Should Contain to 
Be Useful for Sociological Interpretation, " asks and 
answers the following question. 

What should social case records contain to be useful for 
sociological interpretation? They should contain what will 
render them valuable for social case work, that and no more. 1 

This view of Professor Burgess does not meet the 
approval of all social workers and perhaps would not 
meet the approval of many sociologists. Mr. Linton B. 
Swift, a social worker, in the publication Social Forces 
referred to above, says: 

Professor Burgess' paper, however, carries the implication 
that usefulness for social case work is synonymous with 
usefulness for sociological interpretation, and in that I cannot 
agree ... An improvement and particularly an addition of 
material for purposes of sociological interpretation does not 
necessarily meet the needs of case work. As used by the case 
worker, the ultimate purpose of a case record must be treat- 
ment based upon the needs of the individual case. It is 
according to these varying needs that the information and 
proportionate emphasis in the record must be determined, 
and these emphases are not the same as they would be for 
research purposes. 

In spite of the illustrations which Mr. Swift gives to 
prove his case stated above, I cannot believe that he has 
established his contention. 

We find the views of Miss Ada Sheffield in her pamphlet 
on case-study possibilities completely in harmony with the 
views of Professor Burgess when she says, speaking of 
social science and case-work study, 

We find at least the foreshadowing of an agreed rationale 
of analysis in dealing with personality and situation. This 
analysis falls naturally in two main divisions: the individual's 

1 Journal of Social Forces, Vol. 6, p. 254. 


biological endowment, and the relationships which show the 
interplay between this native endowment and his social 
milieu. The first division would cover the individual's hered- 
ity, his physical and mental make-up; the second would 
include his relation with his family and their neighborhood 
setting, his sexual life, his relation with employer and fellow 
employees, his recreational opportunities and choices, his 
church relation, and his response to efforts of rehabilitating 
agencies public or private. Other group associations and 
their settings he might have also, but these are the ones about 
which social case workers must commonly get information. 1 

It is unnecessary to say here that this is the scope of 
case work as I have interpreted it to be and it indicates 
clearly what the case record should be. This is also 
precisely the information which the sociologist desires. 
A large part of sociology deals with the interplay of 
relations between the individual and the group, with the 
method by which the individuals form groups, and with 
group organization and functions. It is concerned, too, 
with the way in which groups mold the individual and 
determine his relationships and character; with the 
complex network of influences surrounding the individual, 
and with his impulses, aspirations, hopes, and plans for 
the future. Case work broadly conceived gives the 
sociologist in the case record precisely what he wants. 

If it be said that social case work deals with the handi- 
capped and underprivileged classes, and sociology deals 
with all classes, the normal more largely than other 
classes, then it must be said that human nature is very 
much the same among all classes, and that the maladjust- 
ment with which the social worker deals is only an 
exaggerated form of maladjustment which exists in all 
classes and which, if it goes unnoticed, produces an indef- 
inite amount of suffering and misery. 

1 SHEFFIELD, "Case Study Possibilities," p. 10. 


Observe this also from Miss Sheffield, herself a promi- 
nent social worker. 

What we ordinarily think of as the personality of a client 
appears and is developed in the interplay of character forces 
between himself and others in one and in another of the 
various groups of people which help to create and enrich his 
social life, each relationship affording situations that give 
scope and stimulus to some special aspect of his nature. It 
is within these various groupings that a man's values in life 
take shape. The things he prizes, his guiding sentiments of 
love, of family dignity, of ambition, of religion, of friendship, 
of citizenship sentiments which integrate his habits and 
give purpose to his life are all formed by the joint activity 
of his mind with other minds, organized into circles that 
conserve and reinforce those values. 

social case records attain the ideals indicated 
above they will contain much that the sociologist wishes, 
they will be most serviceable as teaching material, and 
they will enable the social worker to make predictions and 
develop treatments which will greatly improve the 
adjustments of his or her clients. 

In the article above referrechto Dr. Burgess finds the 
inadequacy of case records chiefly because the client does 
not reveal himself in his own language in the record. 
The latter 

. . . obtains a hearing only in the translation provided by the 
language of the social worker ... To enter the interview 
in the words of the person signifies a revolutionary change. 
It is a change from the interview as an opportunity to partici- 
pate in the life history of the person, in his memories, in his 
hopes, in his attitudes, in his own plans, in his philosophy of 

The advantages which Dr. Burgess finds in the inter- 
view in the first person are: (1) It is democratic in that it 
should involve a sharing of experience; (2) it gives the 
social worker a better understanding of the case; (3) it 


gives an accurate statement of the case undistorted by the 
social worker's point of view. 

The critics of too implicit a reliance on the interview 
stated in the first person claim that the personal equation 
of the social worker cannot be eliminated, since her views 
in the case will be revealed in the questions she asks, and 
"her own prejudices, attitudes and mannerisms are a 
part of the picture. " They say also that mffioryJJ,op 
faulty to record faithfully .what, the client says, that the 
mere words of the client do not exhibit states of feeling 
which may be revealed in his gestures and tones, and that 
the setting in which the statements of the client are 
placed may not "mean exactly the same thing as they 
meant when the client uttered them." 1 \ 

Those who are familiar with the Judge Baker Founda- 
tion reports and other case records which Burgess refers 
to, will appreciate the value of the record in the first 
person, in which the social worker secures the confidence 
of the client and faithfully records precisely what she 
says. However, the record in the first person may have 
all the shortcomings which Bruno and Swift claim for it. 
At least it cannot be used exclusively but must be used 
to supplement the interviewer's statement in the record. 
The degree of perfection which a record attains will 
depend in the last analysis on the capacity of the social 
worker on his thoroughness, on his skill in getting 
into completely democratic relations with his client, on 
his ability to size up a situation, to exclude the irrelevant, 
to present everything in right proportions, and to give a 
complete picture of the case. There can be no substitute 
for skill and mastery in the social case worker. 

If verbatim reports are obtained, with few exceptions it 
is not wise to copy in the presence of the client precisely 
what she says. A guarded rather than a free and com- 
plete statement of the facts is nearly always made, and 

1 See BRUNO and SWIFT, Journal of Social Forces, pp. 532, 533, 536. 


this is not what the interviewer wants. In making 
another kind of investigation where an exact statement 
of the situation was desired, I found it far better to copy 
nothing in the presence of the one interviewed, but, 
immediately after the interview and not in the presence 
of the one interviewed, to attempt to record faithfully 
precisely what was said. With practice of this kind one 
can develop a highly retentive memory. 

It has been generally assumed that social-case- 
teaching cannot be used aside from the teaching of 
individual and family problems. Steiner, Pettit, and 
others have suggested a modification of its use in the 
teaching of community organization. I do not think 
that such teaching should be called case-work teaching. 
But the organization, administration, and policies of the 
settlement, community center, playground, camp, etc., 
can be taught very successfully by what could better be 
called the problem method of teaching. If studies 
were collected indicating the problems of organization, 
administration, objectives, and policies of institutions of 
the above classes, together with what happened in each 
case, giving results, it would represent a very satis- 
factory way of teaching many of the principles of com- 
munity organization. Thus a method comparable to 
the case-method of teaching individual and family 
problems can be used in teaching wider areas of social 


Social workers and a majority of the administrators of 
schools of social work give field-work training a very 
important place in the curriculums of schools training 
social workers. Treatises on social work give much 
attention to case work, social investigation, group work, 
community organization, etc., but nearly all of them are 
absolutely silent on the subject of field work. Why is 
this? The bulletins of schools announcing courses for 
the training of social workers are not silent in announcing 
field-work courses on social work ; nor was the committee 
which recommended the requirements in training and 
experience for membership in the American Association 
of Social Workers silent on field-work training. 

In the literature on social work there is some discussion 
of the teaching of field work which takes a form like this : 
Should it be taught along with other classes? Should it 
be taught in independent blocks of time? Should it be 
turned over to a social agency for supervision? Should 
the representative of the agency in charge of field work be 
given a position on the faculty of the school? Or should 
the students be jointly supervised by the agency and a 
member of the faculty of the school? The auspices 
under which the field work should be conducted also 
receive some consideration. Should the district of the 
city where the field work is conducted be under university 
or school auspices? And what portion of the curriculum 
of the school should be given to field work? Questions 
such as these receive consideration at conferences of 
schools of social work and at conferences and in programs 
where training in social work is being considered. 



At conferences such as the above-named and in the 
literature of social work little or no attention is given to 
the purpose of field work and to its importance in a 
program of social- work training. Its place in a program 
of social-work-training and its importance seem to be 
assumed. Is the purpose of field-work training to teach 
the principles of social work, to make students familiar 
with the problems of social work, to teach the techniques 
of social work, or to break people into jobs of social 
work? Questions such as these receive no consideration. 

It seems to me that the logical beginning of the study of 
the importance and place of field work in social-work 
training is inquiring into the purposes and aims of field 
work in such training. What is its importance as com- 
pared to other disciplines? Considerations such as 
these should receive attention before we consider the 
organization for teaching it, the methods of teaching it, 
and the place assigned to it in the curriculum. 

It has been called a social clinic and a social work 
laboratory. Is field work a laboratory for the solution of 
problems of human association? According to Steiner, 
social research is a laboratory and social treatment is a 
clinic. 1 I accept this distinction. Social research is 
discussed elsewhere. Clinical experience involves inves- 
tigation, diagnosis, and treatment, and this is the only 
field work worthy of a place in the curriculum of a train- 
ing school for social work. 

Much social experience necessarily precedes the work of 
a social- work clinic. This experience is acquired in all 
sorts of ways. There is the experience of childhood in 
the home, in the school, in the neighborhood, on the 
playground, in the give-and-take relations which are 
within the experience of every normal child. Through 
this experience children learn to stand for their rights, to 
make concessions, to get along together, and to cooperate 

1 See STEINEU, "Education for Social Work," p. 72. 


for common ends. In the study of sociology in the 
university, the experience of the student is always 
appealed to to enable him to appreciate and to under- 
stand social phenomena. In courses in applied sociology 
visits are made to welfare institutions, such as penal, 
reformatory, and child-welfare institutions, homes for 
the aged, institutions for the deaf and blind, for the 
feeble-minded, and hospitals for the insane, etc. These 
trips are usually made in connection with the preprofes- 
sional and other courses. 

Each social science has its own methods of bringing its 
students to an appreciation of the phenomena of its 
subject matter. Applied psychology has methods of 
teaching peculiar to its subject matter, such as clinics on 
the abnormal and the delinquent. Economics and 
political science have their methods of observation and 
analysis. The purpose of these methods peculiar to each 
social science is to enable students to appreciate the real 
significance of social phenomena, to know and understand 
people and the impulses which move them in short, to 
understand more thoroughly the laws of human associa- 
tion. One cannot study and appreciate the real signifi- 
cance of the phenomena of the social sciences and be a 
recluse. He must be on the firing line at least a part of 
the time. 

Some students are so constituted that they can never 
become social scientists because they cannot appreciate 
and understand social phenomena. Such students, of 
course, can never become social workers. I know of a 
student who made good grades in her academic work but 
who failed completely in her field-work course because she 
could not understand the impulses which led people to 
certain forms of behavior. This grasp of things is, of 
course, of first importance to the social worker. Many 
years ago I went with an experienced and well-trained 
case worker in a large city, among the dependent 


families of a race whose characteristics I had reasons to 
know thoroughly but which the investigator did not 
understand. I have since appreciated the wisdom of the 
policy of family-case-work societies, which whenever 
possible, send an Italian worker to work among the 
Italians, an Irish worker to work among the Irish, a 
German worker to work among the Germans, and a 
Negro worker to work among the Negroes. 

In the family-case-work field, field work should consist 
of investigation, social diagnosis, and treatment. Social- 
case-work courses should precede and prepare definitely 
for field-work courses. The case record is a statement of 
the facts entering into the case, the diagnosis of the case, 
the prognosis or the suggested treatment, and the fol- 
low-up to measure the results of treatment. Sometimes 
some field work is required in case-work courses. In his 
study of the case, the student learns the various methods 
of collecting evidence, the basis for reaching a decision, 
the prognosis, and the outcome of the treatment. A 
case-work course in any field will consider as great a 
variety of problem cases as is possible in that field. The 
case- work courses here considered arc in family case work, 
such as dependency, delinquency, child welfare, psy- 
chiatric social work, and in health social work. In 
any one of these fields, a good case-work course will 
present not only the most representative cases in the 
field (if such a thing is possible) but as many types of 
cases as is possible within that field. Legal education at 
the present time does not assume the necessity of going 
any farther than this in preparing students for the practice 
of the law. 

Schools of social work give clinical experience beyond 
this to prepare students for the practice of social work. 
As stated before, field work in family case work is clinical 
experience which includes investigation, diagnosis, prog- 
nosis, and treatment. In other forms of social work, 


field work, although different, gives actual experience in 
social work comparable to that given in family case work. 
In other words field work in social work is practice in inves- 
tigating, in diagnosing, and in handling the social prob- 
lems with which the social worker must actually deal. 
This should be done under competent supervision. The 
student should have practice in as great a variety of 
cases as is possible, and it is only the experience and the 
training conducted in this way which is worthy of univer- 
sity credit. 

If this is what field work is in the family-case-work field, 
why should it take this form? And what are its limita- 
tions? The fundamental purpose of field work in the 
family-case-work rield is to establish definitely the prin- 
ciples of social work in the family field. As the principles 
of social work can be established more definitely by the 
case method of teaching than by the lecture, textbook, or 
problem method of teaching, the principles of social 
work can be established more definitely by the field-work 
or clinical method of teaching than by the case method of 

Wherein is the field-work method of teaching superior 
to the case method of teaching? The problem before the 
social worker in the case method is more theoretical than 
in the field-work method. In the former method all the 
facts have been gathered by some one else. The student 
studies the case as it has been handled by some one else, 
thoroughly going into the diagnosis, the prognosis, the 
treatment, and the results of the treatment. Or, the 
case may be presented to him as a problem for him to 
diagnose and suggest a treatment for, after doing which 
he must check his solution with the one already proposed, 
including whatever success may have attended the treat- 
ment. In the field work assumed he gathers the facts, 
acquires some experience in doing so, comes face to face 
with those who contribute the information and with those 


whose problem he is assisting to solve, has an opportunity 
to suggest a treatment, follows the treatment decided on 
with the definite human elements in mind, and has an 
opportunity to appraise the results. In his personal 
contacts he will get something he has not obtained by 
tbo case method of teaching. Great difficulty is experi- 
enced in putting down all the facts in the record. The 
personalities before him may reveal many elements not 
contained in the record. This is usually the case. More- 
over, he is dealing with personal material, and is helping 
to control policies which he cannot do in the case method ; 
and principles are more vividly and accurately estab- 
lished in his mind when he is dealing with human equa- 
tions in his problem than when he is giving theoretical 
consideration to a case. 

Certain points of view are sometimes established in the 
actual handling of cases under supervision which may 
be missed entirely by the case method of teaching; and 
these points of view the student may never see estab- 
lished on the job after he graduates from school. These 
points of view center chiefly around the relationship 
between client and case worker. 

The kind of relationship established between the case 
worker and client cannot be foreseen and can be known 
only as the student is closely supervised while these 
relationships are being established. One illustration 
furnished me by a very successful field-work teacher will 
be sufficient to illustrate this point. A wholesome, 
generous, open-minded girl, who had worked her way 
through college, was confronted with the handling of the 
case of an adolescent girl who refused to give a portion of 
her earnings to the family support. The classroom 
responses of this young woman with reference to the 
underprivileged groups had been wholesome, she had 
proved to be human and well balanced in her discussion 
of cases, and she had displayed excellent initiative in 


figuring out ways in which a case worker could be most 
helpful. But in this instance the girl client wept, and 
dramatically portrayed the freedom and fun she was 
missing because of insufficient funds. The student case 
worker realized that from the point of view of family 
income the mother was not making an unfair demand 
upon her daughter, but recalling vividly her own depriva- 
tions she sympathized with the daughter in resisting the 
demands of the mother. 

The field supervisor takes note of the whole situation 
and is confronted with the problem of bringing the stu- 
dent around to a more wholesome attitude toward this 
form of family situation. The student load should be so 
planned as to give the student worker none of these 
situations until she is prepared to solve them. It should 
be planned, if possible, to give an adequate number of 
counteracting situations in order that the student may be 
led gradually to a more wholesome point of view, not 
only with reference to this situation, but to as many 
others as she meets. This can be done only when the 
student has a wise field-work teacher who becomes famil- 
iar with all the important student-client reactions. 

We have lawyers who should never have been admitted 
to the bar, physicians who should never have been 
permitted to practice medicine, and teachers who should 
never have been permitted to teach. By the use of the 
field-work method of teaching, schools of social work 
may apply an acid test to students and eliminate those 
who have no right ever to become social workers. 

Those who are receiving training to do group work may 
prepare for work in one or more of the following types of 
institutions or activities: social settlements, community 
centers, recreation centers, playgrounds, camps, boys' 
and girls' clubs, Young Men's Christian Associations, 
Young Women's Christian Associations, boy scouts, 
girl scouts, camp-fire activities, etc. It is sometimes 


claimed that social work in these activities is very ele- 
mentary, so elementary as not to require any field-work 
training. Whether this is true or false depends entirely 
on circumstances. 

One important distinction should be made between 
training for family case work and training for group 
work. The organization in which family case work is 
done is concerned primarily with the one activity 
family case work. The group-work organizations are 
usually concerned w r ith a variety of activities. The 
settlement, which is perhaps the most conspicuous 
illustration of this, is concerned with a great variety of 
activities. For some of these activities no professional 
training is presumed to be necessary. Some of its 
activities may need professional training. None of the 
individual activities of the settlement or of any other 
group requires the extent and intensity of training 
required for case work in any of the family-case-work 
agencies. T do not care to go into an analysis of the 
kinds of individual activities in each of the so-called 
group activities to determine which ones require pro- 
fessional training and of these the kinds and amounts of 
training required. 

When \ve speak of training for group activities we do 
not ordinarily have in mind the sort of training for the 
specific activities of the group comparable to training for 
family case \vork, but training in the organization and 
management of group activities, which is really training 
for executive work. Employment in a settlement, on a 
playground, or in a Y. M. C. A., is not necessarily field 
work or clinical work in the group activity. If a student 
is doing field work in a settlement, either he should work 
in some individual activity of the settlement that has 
difficult problems to solve and that will require technical 
knowledge and skill, which will require time to acquire, 
or he should be set to work out settlement problems which 


will give him the experience and knowledge that will 
enable him to organize and operate a settlement. So, 
also, field work in a camp should give the student practice 
in some one aspect of the camp which requires skill and 
knowledge; or else he should be given practice in working 
out the many problems which arise and have been 
successfully worked out in the conduct of a camp, so that 
it will be possible for him to organize and conduct a 
camp successfully. His activities should be carried on 
under the guidance of some competent supervisor who 
appreciates the significance of university credit and the 
importance of practice work in training, and who is a 
real teacher. 

The field work in community organization is intended 
primarily to train social executives. In the successful 
management of councils of social agencies or the com- 
munity chests of our larger cities, executive ability of a 
high order is required, and consequently the field work 
here should be very difficult. Unfortunately, the schools 
of social work have given but little attention to the 
training of executives, and consequently the use of 
field work for such training has been almost entirely 
ignored. As the councils of social agencies and com- 
munity chests are concerned with the coordination and 
teamwork of all the social institutions and agencies in 
cities, both public and private, it is necessary that a 
comprehensive knowledge of these agencies be had with 
reference to the organization, functions, and efficiency of 
each and the need for each. This information is of 
especial importance to community chests, since these 
organizations must collect funds for all the private 
agencies and budget each in proportion to its relative 
needs. A far-reaching publicity campaign must be 
carried on to keep givers and prospective givers ade- 
quately informed on the value and needs of social agencies 
and a business organization of great proportions must 


be set up to secure, collect, and distribute annually 
millions of dollars in the larger cities. 

A brief statement of some of the work and the func- 
tions of these organizations suggests at once the need of 
executive ability of a high order to manage these institu- 
tions. In smaller cities which have community chests or 
councils of social agencies, an organization not quite so 
far-reaching as that in larger cities is necessary. A 
rather definite technique has been developed, however, 
for the community-fund cities large or small. There are 
great possibilities for the training of executives in these 
community-fund cities in that they may be trained to do 
under adequate supervision the things which all successful 
heads of councils of social agencies or community chests 
must do. 

In the family-case-work societies there is a neglected 
field of training, that is, the training of executives for the 
family-case-work agencies. Much attention is given in 
case-work courses and in field-work courses to training 
students to be family case workers. Training for 
executive positions in these societies has been generally 
ignored. Why? Do not the executives of these societies 
need training? Or do they come to their positions by the 
grace of God? I plead for training for those who hold the 
higher positions in social work as well as for those who 
hold positions in the ranks. 

Field-work training cannot be given to each student for 
all possible positions in social work. Each case should be 
dealt with on its merits. Some in the family-case-work 
field think that their technique is fundamental and should 
be taught to all students in training even if they are not 
expected to become family case workers. I agree with 
them in this respect, that some training such, for exam- 
ple, as is offered in a family-case-work course should be 
given to all students in training to be social workers in 
family case work. These students need not be given 


family-field-work training, but a student who is receiving 
training to become an executive of a family-case-work 
society certainly should have some field-work training in 
a family-case-work society. 

The purpose and character of courses in field-work 
training having been considered; there remain for our 
attention the place of field-work teaching, the amount of 
time devoted to it, and the conditions under which field 
work should be taught. Since it has been established 
that the purpose of field work is to teach the principles of 
social work, the other possible purposes, to make students 
familiar with the problems of social work, to teach the 
techniques of social work, or to break students into 
jobs of social work, are eliminated from major considera- 
tion in the purposes of field-work training. Students 
are made familiar with the problems of social work in 
field-work teaching, but this is only incidental to the 
chief purpose of field-work teaching. So, also, some of 
the techniques of social work are taught in field-work 
teaching, but if the purpose of field-work teaching were 
restricted to this, the schools of social work would be 
trade schools and not entitled to a place in a university 
organization. In the apprenticeship period of training, 
we found that prospective social workers were broken 
into jobs; but while preparation for the job may be the 
chief function of some of the schools of social work at 
present, not one of them will admit that this is what it is 

How much time should be given field work in the 
schools of social work? That from one-half to one-third 
of all the work offered by the school should be given to 
field work is the recommendation of the National 
Association of Schools of Social Work. Suppose it were 
suggested to the national association of schools on legal 
education or to the national association of schools on 
medical education that from one-half to one-third of 


all the work offered in their schools leading to their degree 
should be in field work, what would the reply be ? If the 
purpose of field w r ork is restricted to the teaching of the 
principles of social work, there can be no possible excuse 
for giving from one-third to one-half of the time of the 
school to teaching field work. 

At the Ohio State University in the undergraduate 
course in social administration, the junior and senior 
years, or six quarters' work, is devoted to education in 
social work and one-quarter out of six, or one-sixth of the 
time of the school, is devoted to field work. Approxi- 
mately one-half of one semester or one-twelfth of the 
time is given to laboratory work or social investigation. 
In the graduate work for the training of social executives, 
one of the four quarters' work leading to the master's 
degree in social administration is devoted to field work. 
Those in charge of the school see no reason to increase 
the relative amount of work devoted to field work in 
either the undergraduate or the graduate areas. 

It is maintained by some that the school should have 
charge of its field work, and in some instances schools 
have taken charge of areas of cities to conduct the social 
work and supervise by their own staff the work of their 
students. In some instances this may be the better way 
of handling field work. However, much depends on 
local conditions and circumstances. Where satisfactory 
arrangements are made with agencies and the agency 
assigns a good teacher to supervise the field work of the 
students with the cooperation of the case-work teacher 
of the school, the field-work courses may be taught as 
well as or even better than they are where the school has 
charge of an area of the city. 

The experience of most schools has shown that it is 
better to concentrate on the field work at a particular time 
in the course, as there is a great loss of time in going back 
and forth from field work to classroom; that it is difficult 


to make the field work dovetail into the classroom work; 
and that while the student is engaged on cases he should 
be permitted to follow these through to their solution a 
thing which cannot be done conveniently if he is going 
back and forth from field work to classroom. The 
courses should not end with the field-work course. 
Since the purpose of the field-work training is to establish 
principles of social work, the case-work teacher should be 
permitted to meet the field-work students with the pur- 
pose of relating definitely the field-work training with 
the case-work teaching. 


Since the custom of attempting to dignify an occupa- 
tion or calling by claiming it to be a profession has pre- 
vailed for many years, no word perhaps, is more loosely 
used at the present time than profession. According to 
the adherents of each, we have a legal profession, a 
medical profession, an engineering profession (even a 
great variety of brands of engineering professions), 
a teaching profession, an accounting profession, a banking 
profession, a nursing profession, an artists' profession, a 
dancing profession, a veterinary medicine profession, a 
journalists' profession, a musicians' profession, etc. 
If all these and perhaps many others were seriously 
considered professions, there would be no point to the 
present quest: Is social work a profession? 

A distinction is sometimes made between learned profes- 
sions and others. If a profession has any significance for 
our purposes, it is a learned profession. It is of no signif- 
icance at all to say that a calling is a profession only in 
so far as that designation means that it has met certain 
standards and that when the term profession is used with 
reference to the calling it connotes certain standards 
which dignify the calling. If any calling or occupation 
is a profession, then what are the standards? The 
standards may be so low as to let nearly everything in, in 
which case the term profession does not mean anything; 
or they may be so high as to dignify groups designated as 

It is not my purpose in this chapter to determine what 
callings are and what callings are not professions, but 



to determine whether social work is a profession when 
that term is used in the best sense; and if it is not a 
profession to give the reasons which keep it from being a 
profession. I shall not attempt to say whether the 
ministry, teaching, engineering, architecture, etc., are 
professions or not. I shall leave this for others to 
determine. By common consent two lines of activity, 
law and medicine, are considered professions in the best 
sense. What are the determining factors which, accord- 
ing to the leading representatives of each, make law and 
medicine professions? 

Some of the fundamental principles avowed by the 
influential members of these professions are as follows: 
(1) that the professions should be under democratic 
control and that they should be organized so as to be 
self-disciplining; (2) that the fundamental data of the 
professions are based on science and that for each there is 
a systematic body of knowledge and a definite technique 
which may be taught; (3) that there are standards of 
education and of professional education which should be 
required of the members as a condition to admission to 
the professions and of practice in the professions; (4) 
that serious violations of fundamental principles should 
be investigated and should be punished by the profes- 
sions; (5) that the professions should prescribe the ethical 
standards of its members and that these standards should 
concern the relations of the members to their clients, to 
each other, to the public, and to their professions. 

In their relationships to their clients it is required that 
they shall serve then clients faithfully, that they shall be 
reasonable in tbcir charges, and that they shall protect 
the interests of their clients by keeping their confidence. 
In their relationship to each other a set of principles 
has developed to protect each in his practice through 
agreement not to injure the professional reputation of 
another, not to supplant another in his practice, and not 


to compete by lowering charges for services. The 
services required in the interest of the public in general 
are to promote social welfare by the services rendered, to 
administer justice in the case of the lawyer, and to 
prevent disease and promote public health in the case of 
the physician. The relation of the individual to his 
profession is concerned chiefly in his advancing the 
dignity of the profession and in promoting its standards 
by the character of the service he renders to his client arid 
to the public. The profession in an organized capacity 
assumes it to be its prerogative to protect its members 
from unjust laws and to promote legislation advancing 
the interests of the profession and its members. 


Professor Frankfurter of the Harvard Law School in his 
address on "Social Work and Professional Training" 
before the National Conference of Charities and Correc- 
tion at Baltimore in 1915 made this significant statement, 
"As a lawyer I belong to a profession which has behind it 
the experience of eight hundred years." However, 
"There was no university law school worthy the name in 
the United States until Judge Story went to Harvard in 
1829. " ! This school prospered, others were established, 
and at the outbreak of the Civil War there were in the 
United States 22 degree-conferring law schools. By 1920 
there were 142 and nearly 25,000 law students in attend- 
ance at American schools. 

The better lawyers complained that the educational 
standards for admission to the law ^hools in the period 
from 1890 to 1920 which was a period o f the multiplica- 
tion of law schools, was very low. The general require- 
ments were no more than a high-school training, and in 
many states there was no general educational require- 

1 WOODWARD, F. C. " Ways in Which Professional Schools Are Eleva- 
ting Education Standards," Conference on Social Work, Cleveland, 1926. 


ment at all. The law student was, moreover, everywhere 
permitted to receive his technical education in a law 
office. As late as 1908 the Association of American Law 
Schools expressed the hope that all schools in the associa- 
tion would require two years of college work of their 
students. However, by 1920 only thirty-one schools, 
wilich was less than one-half of the university law schools, 
actually required two years of college training as a condi- 
tion to entrance in the school. 1 

In 1921 the American Bar Association appointed Elihu 
Root chairman of a special committee on education and 
this committee brought in a report which was adopted 
after a long and vigorous debate. This report was as 

1. The American Bar Association is of the opinion that 
every candidate for admission to the bar should give evidence 
of graduation from a law school complying with the following 

a. It shall require as a condition of admission at least two 
years of study in a college. 

b. It shall require its students to pursue a course of three 
years' duration if they devote substantially all of their working 
time to their studies, and a longer course, equivalent in the 
number of working hours, if they devote only part of their 
working time to their studies. 

c. The Law College shall provide an adequate library 
available for the use of the students. 

d. It shall have among its teachers sufficient numbers 
giving their entire time to the school to insure actual personal 
acquaintance and influence with the whole student body. 

2. The American Bar Association is of the opinion that 
graduation from school should not confer the right of admis- 
sion to the bar, and that every candidate should be subjected 
to an examination by public authority to determine his 

1 See Woodward, same article, for these facts. 


3. The Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the 
Bar is directed to publish from time to time the names of 
those law schools which comply with the above standards 
and of those which do not, and to make such publications 
available so far as possible to intending law students. 1 

4. The President of the Association and the Council on 
Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar are directed to 
cooperate with the state and local bar associations to urge 
upon the duly constituted authorities of the several states 
the adoption of the above requirements for admission to the 

5. The Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the 
Bar is directed to call a conference on Legal Education in the 
name of the American Bar Association, to which the state and 
local bar associations shall be invited to send delegates, for 
the purpose of uniting the bodies represented in an effort to 
create conditions favorable to the adoption of the principles 
above set forth." 

The chief opponents of this report were the old lawyers 
who had received their legal training in a lawyer's office or 
in a mediocre law school, and who had very little general 
education. In this debate the name of Abraham Lincoln 
was frequently summoned to do service on the negative 
side of the question. Chief Justice Taft and Mr. Root 
spoke vigorously for the adoption of the resolutions. 
An increasing number of lawyers by this time had 
received a college education and their influence was on 
the side of high standards for the legal profession. 
Moreover, many of those whose general and legal educa- 
tion had been irregular had come to appreciate that the 
conditions of legal practice were different at the close of 
the first quarter of the twentieth century from those 
that prevailed in Lincoln's day. 

Following the adoption of this report the Association of 
Law Schools voted that after 1925 all the members of the 

1 This was done, with commendable results. 


association should require two years of college work. 
Progress toward higher standards in legal education has 
been steady. An increasing number of law schools are 
requiring three and four years of college training instead 
of two, and some of them are adding a fourth year to the 
law-school curriculum. 


The medical profession is well organized. The Amer- 
ican Medical Association was organized in 1847 and 
reorganized in 1901. According to its constitution, 

The object of the association shall be to federate into one 
compact organization the medical profession of the United 
States, for the purpose of fostering the growth and diffusion 
of medical knowledge, of promoting friendly intercourse among 
American physicians, of safeguarding the material interests 
of the medical profession, of elevating the standard of medical 
education, of securing the enactment and enforcement of 
medical laws, of enlightening and directing public opinion 
in regard to the broad problems of state medicine, and of 
representing to the world the practical accomplishments of 
scientific medicine, with power to acquire and hold property, 
publish journals, etc. 1 

County medical societies are local divisions of state 
societies and the American Medical Association is limited 
to state societies with their local affiliated societies. 
Membership in the national association is obtained on 
application and the application must be accompanied by 
a certificate of good standing in a county society signed 
by the president and secretary of the organization. The 
control of the association rests with a house of delegates 
who are chosen in a delegate capacity. The general 
management of the association is under a board of 
trustees. There are five standing committees and several 

1 Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 
Vol. 101, 1922, p. 54. 


special committees. Of these committees, that most 
important is the committee on medical education and 
hospitals, established in 1904, which exercises a great 
influence on entrance requirements and courses given in 
medical colleges. Aside from improving the entrance 
requirements and the character of the teaching in medical 
colleges this committee has driven out of existence a large 
number of low-grade medical colleges. 

After years of study and inspection of medical schools 
this committee has classified all the medical colleges of the 
country. Information concerning each school is grouped 
under four heads to which equal importance is attached, 
as follows: the faculty, the product, the administration 
and supervision, and the buildings and equipment. 
Each group is given 25 per cent. Schools having 70 per 
cent or above of these requirements are classed as A, 
those between 50 per cent and 70 per cent, B, and those 
having less than 50 per cent, C. This published classi- 
fication is a constant pressure on the schools of lower 
grade to improve so that they may enter a higher 

Under "product" are placed the qualification of 
students admitted to the medical college, the premedical 
courses, etc. The admission to the medical profession is 
of course under state law. In 1921 six states required 
a preliminary education of four years in high school of 
students entering the medical colleges, four required a 
one-year college course, and thirty-seven required a 
two-year college course. Many medical colleges have 
higher requirements than those demanded by the states. 
Of the eighty-eight medical colleges rated by the Amer- 
ican Medical Association in 1921, seventy were classified 
as A, eight as B, and eight as C, and two were 
unclassified. 1 

1 For above information see Annals of the American Academy of Political 
and Social Science, Vol. 101, p. 57. 


The standard medical course in college is four years. 
Many medical colleges have now added a fifth year which 
the candidate must spend in an approved hospital before 
the degree of M.D. is granted him. Where medical 
colleges require two years of college work as prerequisite 
to registration, as a rule definite subjects and courses are 
required in what is designated as a premedical course. 

In 1912 the American Medical Association adopted 
principles of medical ethics covering the duties of physi- 
cians to their patients, the duties of physicians to each 
other and to the profession at large, and the duties of the 
profession to the public. In the latter case is stressed 
the obligations of the physicians concerning measures 
to prevent epidemics and contagious diseases and con- 
cerning cooperation with public authorities in enforcing 
sanitary laws and regulations. 


If there is a professional organization among social 
workers it is the American Association of Social Workers 
organized in 1922 at Providence. The views of this 
organization with reference to standards of social workers 
may be inferred from the requirements for full member- 
ship in this organization. Two classes of membership 
are provided, a junior membership and a senior member- 
ship. Since junior members are not full members in the 
organization, no attention will be given here to the 
requirements for junior membership. The by-laws of the 
organization were recently changed for both junior and 
senior membership, the changed conditions for senior 
membership to go into effect July 1, 1933. 

The present conditions for senior membership, stated 
in Section 4 of the by-laws, are as follows : 

A member shall hereafter at the time of his admittance meet 
the following qualifications: 

He must have had four years of practical experience in 


social organizations of recognized standing and have demon- 
strated that he possesses an educational background warrant- 
ing expectation of success and progress in the profession of 
social work. He must not be less than twenty-five years of 

Graduation from a two year course in an approved school 
of social work and one year of experience may be accepted in 
lieu of four years' experience; completion of one year in an 
approved school of social work in lieu of one year of experi- 
ence; completion of one year or more of graduate work in 
social science in an accredited college or university in lieu of 
one year's experience ; two or more years' experience in a closely 
related profession in lieu of one year's experience. In no 
case shall a member have had at the time of his admittance 
less than one year of practical experience in social work. 

As evidence of educational background warranting expecta- 
tion of success and progress in the profession of social work, 
consideration shall be given to such facts as graduation from 
college or university; completion of special courses in colleges, 
universities, or schools of social work, individual study, 
papers prepared for conferences or other proceedings, and 
any special achievements in social work. 

It must be obvious to any one that the requirements 
for admission to the designated profession of social work 
are simple and easily met. From the first paragraph one 
infers that experience is the all-important desideratum. 
Four years of experience of a certain kind and an educa- 
tional background are sufficient. The last paragraph 
states the qualifications which constitute evidence of 
educational background. These constitute such qualifi- 
cations "as graduation from college or university, 
completion of special courses in colleges, universities, or 
schools of social work, individual study, papers prepared 
for conference or other proceedings, and any special 
achievements in social work. " It is inconceivable that 
the educational requirements for admission to a profes- 
sion could be less. Much freedom is given the committee 


to determine when the educational requirements have 
been met. Graduation from a college or university 
would apparently meet the requirements regardless of the 
college or university or the course of study pursued. 
Would graduation from a veterinary college or a college of 
pharmacy meet the requirements? Completion of spe- 
cial courses in colleges or universities without designating 
the courses would seem to meet the requirements* 
Moreover, individual study or preparation of papers for 
conferences of some sort by the applicant without his 
ever having been in a college or university or even a high 
school would seem to meet the necessary requirements. 
Any special achievement in social work which would 
satisfy the committee on applications for membership 
would also meet the educational requirements for admis- 
sion to this profession. 

The substitutions for the four years of experience in 
social work are carefully safeguarded. Under any 
circumstances the applicant must have had at least one 
year's experience in social work. Graduation from a 
two-year course in a school of social work may take the 
place of three years of experience and one year of graduate 
work in social science, and two or more years of experience 
in a closely related profession may be a substitute for one 
year of experience. 

It is not stated what the closely related professions are 
which are considered valuable experience for the social 
worker. Although the experience required may be cut 
short by training in a school of social work, training in a 
school of social work is not a prerequisite to admission to 
the profession of social work. Nor is any particular 
educational requirement stipulated as a condition for 
admission to this profession. These are the standards 
which are imposed upon applicants for admission to the 
profession of social work until July 1, 1933. 


According to the amended by-laws, applicants for mem- 
bership after July 1, 1933, must meet the following 
requirements : 

1. Completion of at least two years' work in an approved 

2. Five additional years of general education, technical 
training or employment in an approved agency. This require- 
ment may be satisfied in either one of the two following ways: 

a. Graduation from an approved college plus one year in 
an approved school of social work, plus two years of employ- 
ment in an approved agency. 

b. Five years spent in some combination of: attendance 
at an approved school of social work, or employment in an 
approved agency, provided, however, that the applicant has 
satisfactorily completed: twenty semester hours of social and 
biological science in an approved college or school of social 
work : twenty-four semester hours of approved technical social 
work courses; three hundred hours of supervised field work in 
connection with the technical social work courses; two years 
of employment in an approved agency. 

3. (Substitute for requirements 1 and 2.) Graduation 
from a four-year college plus completion of a two year graduate 
course in an approved school of social work shall be regarded 
as fulfilling requirements 1 and 2. 

And Section 6 states : 

that the National Membership committee with the approval 
of the executive committee may in exceptional circumstances 
elect to membership persons who do not technically meet 
the requirements specified above. 

If it is the intention of the American Association of 
Social Workers to maintain standards of the profession, 
why did it insert Section 6, giving to the membership and 
the executive committees power to admit members to the 
association who had not met the standards it imposed? 

When it is stipulated that twenty semester hours of 
social and biological science in an approved college or 
school of social work are required, a footnote states that: 


Any courses in sociology, economics, political science, 
psychology and psychiatry, anthropology and biology, may be 
submitted as social and biological sciences. Special courses 
in education, such as educational psychology and educational 
sociology and special courses in home economics, such as 
nutrition and dietetics, home nursing and household budgets 
may be submitted. Applicant should also submit any other 
courses which she thinks should be included in social and 
biological science. 

After requiring only twenty semester hours of both 
social and biological sciences combined and listing a 
group of subjects so comprehensive that scarcely any 
reputable university would regard them as included under 
social and biological science, why does the association 
append the additional statement that the applicant 
"should also submit any other courses which she thinks 
should be included in social and biological sciences"? 
The only answer to this question is that the association 
makes the educational requirements for admission so 
easy that any one with a little education could make the 
grade. As a matter of fact there is no reason for not 
making a definite amount of several of the social sciences 
an absolute requirement for admission to an association of 
social workers which claims the right of social work to be 
a profession. 


Mr. Abraham Flexner, then assistant secretary, Gen- 
eral Education Board, New York City, appeared before 
the National Conference of Charities and Corrections at 
its Baltimore meeting in 1915 with an epoch-making 
paper entitled "Is Social Work a Profession?" It may 
seem strange that I should go back fifteen years to 
discuss a paper of this sort especially since I criticise cer- 
tain features of it, for the author may have changed his 
views radically since writing the paper. My defense of 
this course of procedure is that this discussion of Mr. 
Flexner 's is the best I have found anywhere on professions 
and especially on the claims of social work to be a 

Mr. Flexner claims that there are six criteria by which 
professions are determined. 1 

(1) Professions involve essentially intellectual operations 
with large individual responsibility; (2) they derive their raw 
material from science and learning; (3) this material they work 
up to a practical and definite end; (4) they possess an educa- 
tionally communicable technique ; (5) they tend to self organi- 
zation; (6) they are becoming increasingly altruistic in 

No one will quarrel with the conclusion that intellectu- 
ality is a mark of a profession. While manual labor is not 
necessarily excluded, the activity should not be 
exclusively manual. "A free resourceful, and unham- 
pered intelligence applied to problems and seeking to 

1 National Conference of Charities and Correction, 1915 Baltimore, 
p. 581. 



understand and master them, that is in the first instance 
characteristic of a profession. 771 Moreover, according 
to Flexner the responsibility is largely personal. The 
professional man should be free, and while he may and 
should cooperate with others, he should be free in his 
choices and in his procedure. 

That the data of the professional man should be drawn 
from science few will question. If the information used 
is drawn largely from general knowledge or experience, the 
occupation can lay little claim to be professional. The 
usual sources of scientific knowledge, such as the labora- 
tory, seminary, and other scientific sources of informa- 
tion, should be used. 

That professions should have definite, practical ends is 
also a matter of common observation. "The professions 
of law, medicine, architecture, and engineering, for 
example, operate within definite fields and strive toward 
objects, capable of clear, unambiguous, and concrete 
formulations/ 72 

All professions have a technique which may be com- 
municated. A definite purpose or object granted, recog- 
nized skills or methods of procedure are necessary to 
attain the objects. These skills and methods of proce- 
dure may be complex or highly involved and are based 
upon fundamental subjects of discipline. The acquisi- 
tion of these skills and fundamental knowledge requires 
time and intelligence and consequently a considerable 
period of study and learning is necessary to the attain- 
ment of professional standing. 

A profession differentiates itself from other professions, 
occupations, or callings in its objects, its techniques, its 
responsibilities, etc. Because of this the members of a 
profession tend to develop a definite status. They form a 
clique, a group, or a brotherhood, and they accept the 

1 Ibid., p. 579; 
1 Ibid. 


responsibility of defining their status and responsibilities 
and in a democratic way control their relationships. 

In accomplishing the above purposes, professions are 
confronted with the problems of defining the various 
relationships of their members and especially the relation- 
ships of the members and the group to the public. The 
interests of the organization and of individual members 
often conflict with the public interest, and consequently 
to maintain the dignity of the organization and to 
make obvious its usefulness, care is taken to define and to 
urge the public responsibility of the professions and of the 
members of the professions. To an increasing extent, 
professions are invested with a public interest. The 
extent to which different professions are invested with a 
public interest varies greatly. This factor will be dis- 
cussed later. 

Having carefully defined a profession, Mr. Flexner 
then proceeds to discuss such callings as plumbing, 
banking, pharmacy, and nursing to show why they are 
not professions. 

Recurring to our criteria I should say that pharmacy has 
definiteness of purpose, possesses a communicable technique, 
and derives at least part of its essential material from science. 
On the other hand, the activity is not predominantly intellec- 
tual in character and the responsibility is not original or 
primary. The physician thinks, decides, and orders; the 
pharmacist obeys obeys, of course, with discretion, intelli- 
gence, and skill yet in the end obeys and does not originate. 1 

Referring to the nursing situation he says : 

It is the physician who observes, reflects, and decides. 
The trained nurse plays into his hands, carries out his orders; 
summons him like a sentinel in fresh emergencies; subordi- 

1 Ibid., p. 582. 


nates loyally her intelligence to his theory, to his policy, and 
is effective in precise proportion to her ability thus to second 
his efforts. 1 

Although the author does not express an absolute 
conviction, it is clear that he does not consider nursing in 
general a profession. The author then calls attention to 
the public-health nurse, who is a sanitary official and who 
works in a field largely on her own responsibility rather 
than under orders, and wonders whether a differentiation 
in training and in terminology is not likely to develop 
with reference to her. 

Having prepared the groundwork, the author then 
takes up the thesis of his paper, "Is Social Work a Profes- 
sion in the Technical and Strict Sense of the Term?" 

The worker must possess fine powers of analysis and dis- 
crimination, breadth of view and flexibility of sympathy, 
sound judgment, skill in utilizing whatever resources are 
available, facility in devising new combinations. These 
operations are assuredly of intellectual quality. 2 

The author then raises the question as to whether this 

. . . responsibility is not that of a mediating than an original 

The social worker takes hold of a case, that of a disinte- 
grating family, a wrecked individual, or an unsocialized indus- 
try. Having localized his problem, having decided on its 
particular nature, is he not usually driven to invoke the 
specialized agency, professional or other, best equipped to 
handle it? There is illness to be dealt with the doctor is 
needed; ignorance requires the school; poverty calls for the 
legislator, organized charity, and so on. To the extent that 
the social worker mediates the intervention of the particular 
agent or agency best fitted to deal with the specific emergency 
which he has encountered, is the social worker himself a pro- 
fessional or is he the intelligence that brings this or that 

1 Ibid, p. 583. 

2 Ibid., pp. 584-585. 


profession or other activity into action? The responsibility 
for specific action thus rests upon the power he has invoked. 
The very variety of the situations he encounters compels him 
to be not a professional agent so much as the mediator invok- 
ing this or that professional agency. 1 

If the social worker is simply a mediator carrying out 
the instruction of a principal who has diagnosed the case, 
then the conclusions of the writer are sound. But this is 
not the case. The social worker himself diagnoses the 
case. The cases with which the social worker deals are 
often complex and sometimes need in their solution the 
services of a number of experts. These the social worker 
summons. He always contributes one class of expert 
service himself, that of diagnosis. In the great majority 
of instances he contributes other expert service directly 
himself. Take the case of the delinquent child. The 
social worker may summon the physician who will 
determine if the child is ill or physically defective. He 
may summon the psychologist to learn if the child is 
feeble-minded or otherwise abnormal. If the child is ill 
or physically defective^ the physician may be called on to 
cure its illness or to correct physical defects in so far as he 
can. If mental conflicts prevail, the appropriate expert 
should be called in the case to bring about mental 
improvement. If the case is negative in health or 
mentality or both, the social worker's task is not at an 
end. What is there in the family, the neighborhood, and 
the school relationship which may be changed to improve 
the conduct of the case? All these things must be con- 
sidered together with the past history of the case in 
working out a better adjustment of it, and these factors 
the social worker usually handles himself. If, on the 
other hand, the delinquent has no physical or mental 
defects, other causes of delinquency must be sought by 
the social worker and these he usually seeks himself. In 

l lbid., p. 585. 


working out a solution to the case he usually uses media- 
tors, but they, rather than he, take orders. It would be 
exceedingly difficult to find a situation in social case work 
where, after the diagnosis is made by the social worker, 
the case was rehabilitated exclusively by mediators 
without a contribution of the social worker himself in 
which he uses expert knowledge. 

There is no possible analogy between the work of the 
social worker as mediator and that of the pharmacist who 
fills out prescriptions written by physicians or of nurses at 
the bedside of the sick who faithfully carry out the orders 
of physicians. The social case worker is a diagnostician 
who renders other expert service and summons experts 
and others to supplement his activity in working out a 
complete solution for his case. 

Mr. Flexner makes this further comment, 

In speaking of social work as mediating, I do not intend to 
say that other professions are mutually independent and act 
independently. Indeed, the collaboration of different pro- 
fessions in the doing of specific tasks is a characteristic feature 
of latter-day organization. Architects, engineers, sanitarians, 
lawyers, and educators cooperate in the building of a school 
or a tenement. But it is to be noted that this is a division of 
labor among equals, each party having, subject to general 
consent, primary responsibility for his particular function and 
responsibility; differing, I take it from the function and 
responsibility of the social worker under similar conditions. 1 

What the writer describes here as the strength of the 
professions is at the same time their weakness. Real 
cooperation is hindered by the disposition of professional 
men to stand on their prerogatives, and their unwilling- 
ness to cooperate whole-heartedly with others in enter- 
prises in the responsibility of which several professions or 
groups should be sharers. The social worker at this 
point is making a real contribution. His success is 

1 Ibid., p. 585. 


determined largely by his willingness to cooperate and his 
capacity to secure cooperation. He is perfectly willing 
to stand aside and satisfy some professional man's 
egotism if by doing so he can accomplish his purpose. 
His retiring nature and his diplomacy are already accom- 
plishing something in reforming members of the older 

Another failure of social work to meet the requirements 
of a profession according to the author is the absence of 
definiteness of purpose. On this point Mr. Flexner says : 

I have made the point that all the established and recog- 
nized professions have definite and specific ends: medicine, 
law, architecture, engineering one can draw a clear line of 
demarcation about their specific fields. This is not true of 
social work. It does not appear to be so much a definite 
field as an aspect of work hi many fields. An aspect of 
medicine belongs to social work, as do certain aspects of law, 
education, architecture, etc. ... The field of employment is 
indeed so vast that delimitation is impossible. We observed 
that professions need to be limited and definite in scope, in 
order that practitioners may themselves act; but the high 
degree of specialized competency required for action and 
conditioned on limitation of area can not possibly go with 
the width of scope characteristic of social work. A certain, 
superficiality of attainment, a certain lack of practical ability, 
necessarily characterize such breadth of endeavor. 1 

I doubt if there is anything unique in the objects of 
social work distinct from medicine and law. The pur- 
pose of social work is to improve individual and social 
adjustments and to improve social organization and 
procedure in the interests of social welfare. The purpose 
of medicine is to cure disease and to prevent sickness by 
removing the conditions which cause disease. While it is 
true that the field of employment in social work is vast, 
including such occupations as family-welfare worker, 

1 Ibid., pp. 585, 586. 


child-welfare worker, hospital social worker, industrial 
welfare worker, psychiatric social worker, probation 
officer, parole officer, civic secretary, visiting school 
teacher, settlement worker, recreation director, com- 
munity organizer, research worker, statistician, etc., 
it is also true that the field of employment in medicine is 
vast, including such occupations as the general practi- 
tioner, the eye, ear, nose, and throat specialists, the nerve 
specialist, the heart specialist, the stomach specialist, 
the skin specialist, the lung specialist, etc. A great 
variety of specialists are to be found also at the present 
time in the legal profession. 

Whatever his specialty the fundamental training of the 
physician is the same. He is first trained to be a physi- 
cian and when he becomes a specialist the training in his 
specialty conies after his training as physician. A 
similar statement of the case can be made with equal 
accuracy of the legal specialist. The training of the 
social worker cannot be so closely defined as is the train- 
ing of the physician and the lawyer. But the conditions 
of training should be similar. All social workers should 
have the same fundamental training, and the training of 
the specialist should be based upon fundamental training 
which all social workers should receive. 

Of less significance than his other criticisms is the con- 
tention of Mr. Flexner that social work simply supple- 
ments existing professions. He says : 

A good deal of what is called social work might perhaps bo 
accounted for on the ground that the recognized professions 
have developed too slowly on the social side. Suppose medi- 
cine were fully socialized; would not medical men, medical 
institutions and medical organizations look after certain 
interests that the social worker must care for just because 
medical practice now falls short? The shortcomings of law 
create a similar need in another direction. Thus viewed, 
social work is, in part at least, not so much a separate pro- 


fession, as an endeavor to supplement certain existing pro- 
fessions pending their completed development. 1 

No doubt much would be gained if law and medicine 
were broadened in the direction of the social aspects of 
each profession. However, law and medicine would have 
to be very greatly broadened to include what social work 
is now doing to supplement each, and the members of 
each of these professions would have to do a very different 
sort of thing from what they are doing now. It is incon- 
ceivable that either of them will ever be broadened to 
include the sort of things social work is now doing to 
supplement them. If law, medicine, the ministry, edu- 
cation, the state, etc., each functioned perfectly, there 
would be much less need for social work than at present. 
However, is it not short-sighted to assume the absence of 
the need of a profession on the theory that other institu- 
tions and agencies function perfectly? All this is too 
much to expect of human institutions. Moreover if we 
had a perfect society otherwise, we might assume that 
there would be no need for either a legal or medical 
profession. We are all familiar with the assumption 
of the anarchist with reference to the need for organized 
government; the contentions of Mr. Flexner with refer- 
ence to the need for social work are practically the same 
as the contentions of the anarchist concerning the need 
for organized government. 

If Mr. Flexner's conclusion that social work is not a 
profession are unsatisfactory, are there other reasons why 
social work is not a profession? I believe that there are 
other and valid reasons for concluding that social work is 
not a profession. 

From a study made by the Russell Sage Foundation of 
1258 social workers representing 677 organizations in 221 
cities of the United States it was found that only about 
44 per cent of them were college graduates, only 14 per 

1 Ibid., p. 586. 


cent of them had one year or more of a course in a school of 
social work, and only 7 per cent of them had had a full 
college course and a full course in a school of social 
education. 1 A study of 740 social workers in Philadel- 
phia agencies showed that 60.1 per cent had high-school 
education or less; 42 per cent did not finish high school; 
6.2 per cent had only grammar-school education; and 
only 10 per cent had completed courses in schools of social 
work. 2 

The completion of a college course has no significance 
as education for social work. All it indicates is mental 
equipment and general education. Unless the right 
group of courses was selected in the college course no 
professional courses in social work are taken. 

Miss Walker says in "Social Work and the Training of 
the Social Worker": 

No reliable figures are available as to the number entering 
social work training. However, the four hundred produced 
annually by the schools can not supply more than one-fifth 
of the positions open in social work if the conservative 
estimate of an annual turnover of 10 per cent among 20,000 
social workers is accepted. 3 

The older of the social workers of the United States 
have not received training in the schools except through 
brief courses in summer schools in some instances. It is 
safe to conclude that the great majority of social workers 
of the United States never received any training for the 
work they are now doing, and of those who have received 
training a great majority have never had a college educa- 
tion, and a considerable percentage of them not even a 
high-school education. What most of the social workers 

Quoted from Sydnor H. Walker, " Social Work and the Training of 
Social Workers/' pp. 105, 116. 

DBARDORF, " Education for Social Workers," Annals of the American 
Academy, September, 1925. 

2 Quoted from Deardorf, op. cit. 

3 WALKER, op. cit., p. 117. 


of the country learned about what they are now doing 
they learned on the job. Where such a situation as that 
above described prevails can social work be considered 
a profession? Whatever may be its development in the 
future, as long as it is in the apprenticeship stage of 
development social work is not a profession. 

Sydnor Walker makes some very interesting comments 
apropos of our present problems: 

There appears no basis for the claim to a general technique 
in personality adjustments, so long as the social worker 
states that his skill is acquired from " doing " and this "doing" 
is limited to a certain section of the population whose problems 
represent only a portion of the problems of society. 

It seems relatively unimportant to emphasize the fact that 
social work cannot establish professional status by offering 
the technique of case work as proof that it has an exclusive 
field. What can be accomplished by good case work is of 
great social value; first, the solution of problems of individuals 
who may be suffering or who may be causing injury to society; 
and second, the development of a scientific attitude towards 
individual problems, which will ultimately produce a tech- 
nique capable of being analyzed for the enlightenment of all 
interested in problems of human behavior. This technique 
will be created through developing scientific methods of care- 
ful observation and of collection of data, through planning 
based on inductive analysis of pertinent facts, and through 
systematizing and generalizing procedure. Social workers 
in the natural course of their jobs have access to material 
of great potential value to the social sciences; putting this 
material into form which would meet the needs of the social 
sciences should be an important function of social work. 

Social case work is not conceded, therefore, to have any 
unique quality. The technique that has been built up is 
apparently not the product of any educational discipline to 
which social workers have submitted, but is based upon 
experience with certain types of social problems. 1 

1 Ibid., pp. 108-109. 


The great majority of social case workers today have 
not received training in the fundamentals of the social 
sciences and of course do not appreciate the value of this 
training in the work they have to do. A much larger 
number of them have not received training in the 
so-called preprofessional courses of study and conse- 
quently cannot appraise their importance to the social 
worker. When social workers become thoroughly 
grounded not only in the fundamentals of the social 
sciences but also in preprofessional courses for social 
workers, it will be possible for them to make a real con- 
tribution to the social sciences from the rich laboratories 
in which they are working, and a general technique in 
personality adjustments will be developed, "capable 
of being analyzed for the enlightenment of all interested 
in problems of human behavior. " l When this is attained 
social work will have a literature and a technique which 
will have claims for professional status. 

If the great majority of social workers of the United 
States have neither the education nor the training which 
should qualify them to be considered professional men 
and women, what about their views with reference to the 
training which the social workers of the future should 
receive? Here again the situation is rather discouraging. 
Reference has already been made in the last chapter to 
the standards of admission to the American Association 
of Social Workers and to those adopted by the association 
to go into effect July 1, 1933. 

At the present time the applicant for membership in 
the American Association of Social Workers must be 
twenty-five years of age and must have had four years of 
experience. The amount of experience required speaks 
emphatically for the apprenticeship stage of social work 
in which the American Association of Social Workers finds 
itself. No practical experience is required of the young 

1 Ibid., p. 108. 


lawyer as a condition of admission to the bar, and the 
best medical schools require only one year of interneship 
in a hospital as a condition of admission to the medical 

But the experience above referred to may be reduced 
to one year if the applicant graduated from a two-year 
course in an approved school of social work; or, it may be 
reduced to three years if the applicant has completed one 
year in an approved school of social work or one year or 
more of graduate work in social science, or has had two or 
more years experience in some closely related profession. 

The applicant may be a graduate of a college but this 
is not necessary. He need not be a graduate of a high 
school or even have attended high school if he had made 
some individual study or prepared papers for a conference 
which have met the approval of the committee on 

If a man or woman is twenty-five years of age and has 
had four years of experience in a social organization, he 
may be at the present time admitted to this professional 
body of social workers without having had any training 
in a school of social work, or without having graduated 
from a college, university, or even high school. The 
only requirement of any significance is age. Can an 
organization with no standards of professional training, 
or even of education, claim to be a professional organiza- 
tion worthy of the name? 

The standards set up by the American Association of 
Social Workers for a period beginning July 1, 1933 are 
higher than those in vogue at present. Yet even these 
standards are very disappointing. The first item 
required is two years' work in an approved college. In 
addition to this five more years are required in some 
combination of attendance at an approved college, 
attendance at an approved school of social work, or 


employment in an approved agency. A number of 
provisions, however, enter into this combination: 

(1) 20 semester hours of social and biological science in an 
approved college or school of social work; (2) 24 semester 
hours of approved technical social work courses; (3) 300 
hours of field work in connection with the technical social work 
courses; (4) two years of employment in an approved agency 

Some features of these requirements of the five years 
stand out conspicuously. Two years in employment and 
three hundred hours in field work are required. This 
again suggests the apprenticeship phase of social work 
and the trade-school conception of education. As stated 
before, the legal profession emphasizes professional 
training and does not require any experience, and the 
medical college requires only one year of interneship 
before the medical degree is given. 

Twenty-four hours of approved technical social-work 
courses is a very low requirement of professional work for 
admission to a profession. Twenty semester hours of 
social and biological science in an approved college or 
school of social work is likewise an exceedingly low 
requirement for very valuable fundamental courses. 
This becomes more apparent when one sees the list of 
social and biological sciences in the footnote which 
are mentioned as acceptable; not only sociology, eco- 
nomics, political science, psychology and biology, but 
psychiatry, anthropology, educational psychology, educa- 
tional sociology, home economics, nutrition and dietetics, 
home nursing and household budgets. I do not wish 
to be understood as claiming that the latter group of 
courses is not important for the social worker. Some of 
them are very important for certain social workers. But 
it would be possible for an applicant to offer twenty 
semester hours of social and biological science without 
offering any sociology, psychology, economics, or biology 


at all, all of which are very important to the social worker; 
or it would be possible to offer some of these and omit 

As a substitution for all that has preceded, including 
the two years of college work and the five additional 
years, there may be substituted "graduation from a four 
year college plus completion of a two year graduate 
course in an approved school of social work." This 
statement makes no requirement whatever of social and 
biological sciences either in the undergraduate or grad- 
uate work, nor is there any requirement whatever of the 
professional, preprofessional or field-work courses 
required in the graduate school. The applicant who 
holds an A.B. degree from some college and who studies 
two years after that in some school of social work which 
has the approval of the membership committee will be 
admitted to full standing in the American Association of 
Social Workers as a professional social worker. 

According to the statistics taken from women students 
who graduated from liberal arts courses of representative 
colleges of central Ohio, heretofore given, in one school 
those having less than six semester hours in sociology 
numbered 90 out of 106; in another 109 out of 195; in 
another, 58 out of 105; in another, 34 out of 89; and in 
another, 88 out of 106. 

In one of the same institutions, the graduates having 
less than six semester hours in psychology numbered 27 
out of 106; in another, 175 out of 195; in another, 58 out 
of 105; in another, 19 out of 89; and in an other 40 out of 106. 

In one of these institutions 96 out of 106 graduates had 
less than six credit hours of work in economics. In 
another, the number was 178 out of 195; in another, 95 
out of 105; in another, 75 out of 89; and in another, 94 
out of 106. 

Sixty-five out of 106 graduates of one of these institu- 
tions had less than six credit hours in biology, 165 out of 


195 in another; 78 out of 105 in another; 66 out of 89 
in another; and 77 out of 106 in another. Six semester 
credit hours is taken as the dividing line as six credit 
hours is the usual requirement in fundamental courses 
in these subjects in all the leading universities of the 

If these colleges and universities arc typical of those 
throughout the country from which graduates go to take 
social-work training, it is obvious that the majority of 
them will not have had the fundamental training which 
social workers should have. A glance at the catalogues 
of the private schools of social work or of those having 
only nominal affiliation with universities, or of others 
associated with universities whose curriculums are 
dictated by social workers, will show clearly that students 
will seldom receive training in the fundamentals of the 
social sciences, or even training in the preprofessional 
courses, if they did not have this training before they 
entered these schools. There are social workers and 
representatives of the schools of social work who claim 
that social workers do not need training in the social 
sciences, but they are usually those who have never had 
such training and do not appreciate the significance of 
the social sciences in social work. 

Professor Edward S. Robinson, Professor of Psychology 
at Yale University, disposed of this matter in a pertinent 
way at the recent Boston conference of the National 
Conference on Social Work in a paper, "The Place of 
Psychology in the Education of the Social Worker." 
He said: 

In the case of these professions which are discovering the 
impossibility of a practically complete vocational education 
it is important that the solution is being sought neither in the 
old practice of reliance on apprenticeship in the field nor in 
the other old idea that one type of general training is as good 
as any other so long as it is strenuous enough to put a premium 


on industry and native intelligence. There is a search for a 
general type of training, but a type which is, nevertheless, of 
fundamental relevance for the profession in question. There 
is little disposition to assume that the courses which furnish 
the most secure ground work for engineering also furnish its 
most secure ground work for medicine. It seems to me that 
those who are considering the education of the social worker 
may well enter upon a similar line of thought. The multipli- 
cation of the more highly specialized courses has limits and 
so have the absorption capacity of students. Yet there must 
be among the basic natural and social sciences certain methods 
of inquiry, certain ways of thinking about human nature, 
which are capable of a crucial role in the practice of social 

It may be claimed that social work is so variable that its 
problems are not to be solved by the devices of science. In 
this connection one will do well to remember that science is 
more than a collection of tricks and devices. A science is, 
in its most significant phase, a manner of looking at and think- 
ing about a complex group of natural phenomena. And 
nowhere do we need keen and orderly thinking more than in 
this social field. 

The committee on membership of the American Associ- 
ation of Social Workers of which Frank J. Bruno of the 
department of social work of Washington University, 
St. Louis, was chairman, submitted a report requiring 
much higher and more specific standards of membership 
than those finally adopted. This report specified that 
the training courses which students should have should 
be " divided into three parts; namely, (a) background 
(6) technical, (c) field work/' The report states that 
when a "two years' course in an approved school of 
social work" and a one-year course in an approved 
school of social work are referred to, it means technical 
and field-work courses and not background courses. 
The report recommends thirty semester hours in back- 
ground sciences such as biology, psychology, economics, 


political science, and sociology. It will be recalled that 
the report finally adopted in one form called for only 
twenty semester hours in social and biological sciences 
and stipulated a much larger list of social and biological 
sciences than those listed above, from which elections 
should be made. Even this standard of the social and 
biological sciences was cast aside when the report adopted 
offered as a substitute for this, as well as other require- 
ments, graduation from a college or university and two 
years of "graduate" work in an approved school. 

To an increasing extent social workers believe in train- 
ing for their work. However, many of them do not 
believe that training is necessary and feel any suggestion 
of high standards of training is regarded as a reflection 
on them. It will be recalled that a similar situation 
prevailed when members of the legal profession attempted 
to raise the standards of training for that profession. 
Lincoln's name was often used when questions of stand- 
ards were under discussion. We have no Abraham 
Lincolns in social work, but we have many little Lincolns 
who are rendering yeoman's service whenever raising 
standards of training for social workers is sought. 

The original Bruno report further suggested that the 
balance of requirements in the three divisions should be 
40 per cent background courses, 40 per cent technical 
courses, and 20 per cent field-work courses. This 
feature was also rejected, as was the recommendation 
that not more than 33 } per cent of the work of the 
student should be in field work. Social work is too near 
the apprenticeship and trade-school conception of social 
work for social workers to accept the latter feature. 

The associations of schools and colleges have always 
taken the lead in advocating higher standards of profes- 
sional education in the medical and legal professions. 
One would naturally think that the association of schools 
of social work would also contend for higher standards 


of professional education in social work than the regular 
practitioners, the social workers of the country. This 
we do not find to be the case. The Bruno report above 
referred to came before the National Association of Schools 
of Social Work at its Washington meeting in December, 
1927. It was apparent that the representatives of the 
so-called graduate schools of social work felt that thirty 
semester hours in the social and biological sciences was 
too rigid a requirement and one which those holding 
an A.B. degree entering their schools could not meet. 
The requirement in the report that not over 33 per cent of 
the work of the school should be in field work was very 
unsatisfactory to some of the schools. Some features of 
this report were adopted at this meeting and the executive 
committee was instructed to present the balance of the 
report at the meeting which was held at Memphis in 
June, 1928. By this time the executive committee had 
changed its mind about what should go into the report. 
When the report was finally presented at the Chicago 
meeting in December, 1928, it recommended low stand- 
ards for schools admitted to the association. 

The setting up of standards by the Association of 
Schools was primarily for the purpose of guiding the 
executive committee in determining what schools should 
be admitted to the Association. Although it was gener- 
ally understood and specifically stated that the stand- 
ards adopted would not affect the status of the schools 
already in the association, the standards adopted for the 
schools were much lower than those adopted by the 
American Association of Social Workers for individual 
members to be admitted into the Association after July 
1, 1933. 

As a matter of fact it is rather difficult to find any def- 
inite standards in this report. One in particular states 


At least 90 per cent of students accepted for subjects in 
the professional curriculum for which credit is given toward a 
degree or a diploma, must have secured two years of academic 
credit beyond high school. Normal schools and schools of 
nursing may be considered in this connection. 

At least two years of school work beyond the high 
school is required as prerequisite to the professional 
curriculum. The school must then offer a curriculum 
covering two full academic years. 

The courses offered in the curriculum of the school must 
include the following four divisions of the subject matter of 
social work. 


1. Fundamental techniques. 

2. Adaptations of scientific material to the needs of 
social work. 

3. Courses in the practice of social work. 

4. Orientation courses. 

That the committee had more definitely in mind the 
teaching of field work than anything else may be inferred 
from the special consideration given it. 

B. Field Work 

1. The school to be eligible for admission must present a 
program of field work under the educational control 
of the school. 

2. Field work is planned and supervised experience 
in the practice of social work as social work is carried 
on by recognized social agencies. 

3. Not less than one-third or more than one-half of the 
time provided by the curriculum shall be given to 
field work. 

The curriculum of the school must consist of one-third 
field work and may consist of one-half of it. Imagine a 
law school requiring legal practice of from one-third to 
one-half of its work leading to a legal degree, or a medical 


college requiring for a medical degree practice work of its 
students for from one- third to one-half of their credits. 
Practice work is the easiest thing a school can provide, 
and if it is not equipped to do a high-grade class of work 
it can turn its students over to agencies for one-half of 
their work with a minimum of supervision from the 

In the preliminary report of the committee in which it 
offers general observations, the only feature about which 
it seems to have definite convictions is field work. After 
defining field work the committee states : 

, . . that field work is indispensable in professional education 
for social work. We are convinced that field experience to 
be of constructive value, must be given a substantial share of 
the time occupied by a given curriculum. Under present 
conditions we feel that approximately one-half of the total 
period and not less than one-third may easily be given to field 

The extreme of indefiniteness with reference to the role 
of the social sciences is best expressed by the committee: 

Much more study is required before the following questions 
can be satisfactorily answered. 

1. What constitutes preparation for entrance to a profes- 
sional school of social work? 

2. Since the curriculum we have outlined presupposes some 
work in the social sciences, how shall this work be defined as 
to amount and content, and how accomplished? 

If these views represent the best thought of the national 
teaching organization promoting the training of social 
workers, and if these views represent the social workers of 
the country, we should confess at once that social work is 
not a profession but a craft in which expertness is acquired 
chiefly through practice, supplemented by some schooling 
concerning the character of which social workers have 
vague and indefinite ideas. 



Number of 
credit hours 




ley an, 






Number of Graduates 












Under 6 

6 to 11 

12 to 17 

18 to 23 
24 or more 

Under 6 ... 

Percentage Distribution 


14 2 

9 7 

5 7 

2 2 

58 . 5 

25 5 

6 to 11 

12 to 17 

18 to 23 

24 or more 

7 9 












Number of 
credit hours 









Number of Graduates 









Under 6 








6 to 11. 








12 to 17. 







18 to 23.. . 






24 or more. . 












Percentage Distribution 






4 5 



Under 6 








6 to 11... 








12 to 17. .. 







18 to 23. 




1 1 


24 or more 


1 5 














Number of 
credit hours 









Number of Graduates 









Under 6 








6 to 11. . . 








12 to 17 






18 to 23 . 



24 or more . . . 












Percentage Distribution 

None . 


78 3 




64 2 

73 6 

Under 6 .... 






24 . 5 


6 to 11 








12 to 17 






18 to 23 



24 or more 
















Number of 
credit hours 



ley an, 





Number of Graduates 









Under G. . 








6 to 11. . 








12 to 17. ... 







18 to 23 






24 or more. . . 












Percentage Distribution 

None. . 

74 2 

63 2 

45 . 1 

95 . 2 


54 7 

65 5 

Under 6 

7 9 


36 4 

2 9 

3 4 



6 to 1 1 . . 



14 4 


7 9 



12 to 17. 


3 6 





18 to 23 






24 or more 

1 1 

1 1 













Number of 
credit hours 



ley an, 






Number of Graduates 

















Under 6 

6 to 11 

12 to 17 

18 to 23 
24 or rnoro 



Percentage Distribution 

5 6 
3 4 
1 1 

22 6 
4 7 


29 . 7 

18 1 


6 7 





Under 6 

6 to 11 

12 to 17 

18 to 32 

24 or moro 



Accountants, 99, 129 

Accounting, 49 

Actuaries, 99 

Administrators, 149 

Advertisers, 129 

American Association of Social 

Workers, 169, 172, 185, 180, 

188, 190, 192 
American Bar Association, 165, 

American Medical Association, 79, 


Anthropology, 173, 187 
Applied sociology, 61, 151 
Apprentice, 133 
Architects, 179 
Architecture, 175 
Art, 7 
Association American Law Schools, 


Association American Colleges, 74 
Autocratic administration, 105, 106 


Background courses, 84 

Biology, 56, 73, 75, 76, 78, 85, 88, 

108, 173, 187, 190 
Boy Scouts, 155 
Boys' clubs, 155 
Brackett, Jeffrey R., 42 
Breckinridge, Sophonisba, 43 
Bruno, Frank J., 147, 190-192 
Bureau of Business Research, 127 
Bureau of Educational Research, 

Bureau of Social Research, 124 

Burgess, E. W., 143, 144, 146 
Business, 100 

Business administration, 80-82, 
130, 131. 134 

Cabot, Dr., 6, 16 

Campfire clubs, 155 

Camps, 155 

Case illustration method, 135 

Case method, 126, 129, 130, 136, 

139, 148, 154 
Case records, 143 
Case work, 31, 45, 50, 145 
Case work courses, 95, 140, 152 
Case work society, 111 
Case workers, 99 
Charters, W. W., 107 
Charities and corrections, 3, 22, 23 
Charity organization, 22 
Charity Organization Society, 64, 


Chicago commons, 43 
Chicago Institute of Social Service, 

Chicago School of Civics and 

Philanthropy, 22, 43, 51, 53 
Child welfare clinics, 69, 70, 72 
Child welfare work, 141 
Child welfare worker, 181 
Church, 31, 32 
Civic secretary, 181 
Clergymen, 26 
Clinical experience, 150, 152 
Clinics, 39 

College education, 183 
College of Law, 79 
Community centers, 72, 111, 155 




Community Fund, 111 
Community organization, 24 
Community organizer, 181 
Competitive system, 11 
Copeland, Melvin T., 128 
Council on Legal Education, 166 
Council of Social Agencies, 111 
Crime, 23 
Criminal, 136 
Criminal courts, 20 
Criminal law, 108 
Criminology, 49, 50, 86, 108 


Darrant, Douglas, 67, 68, 69 
Delinquency, 8, 19, 25 
Delinquent, 9, 19, 20, 21 
Denison University, 73-75, 77 
Devine, Edward, T., 27, 30, 42, 62 


Diagnosis, 137, 152, 153, 179 
Dietetics, 173 
Dry goods jobber, 109 


Economics, 62, 73, 75-78, 85, 87, 

108, 151, 173, 187, 190 
Education, 39 

General Education Board, 174 
medical, 167 
professional, 46, 50, 56 
Educators, 179 
Ellwood, Dr. C. A., 43 
Engineering, 39, 175 
Engineers, 179 
Executives, 99, 103, 106, 109, 110- 

112, 115, 116, 118, 129, 141 

social, 99, 100, 102, 105, 108, 112, 

114, 115, 118, 119, 142 

Family, 31 

Family case work, 141, 152, 153, 
156, 158, 159 

Family case workers, 63 

Family welfare worker, 180 

Federation executive, 71 

Feeble-mindedness, 137 

Field supervisor, 155 

Field work, 93, 94, 157, 189, 190, 

193, 194 

Field work course, 151 
Field work training, 149, 150, 159, 


Flcxner, Abram, 174-176, 179-182 
Foundation, Judge Baker, 67, 147 
Foundation, Russell Sage, 182 
Frankfurter, Felix, 164 


George, Henry, 71 

Gilbert Acts, 3 

Girl Scouts, 158 

Gladden, Dr. Washington, 32 

Graduate schools, 78, 79, 81, 83, 84, 

86, 97, 98 

Graduate work, 84, 85, 98 
Great Britain, 95, 138 


Haines, Dr. T. H., 3 

Halbert, 3 

Handicapped, 9-11, 63, 70, 71 

Hartford Theological Seminary, 47 

Harvard Law School, 1 64 

Harvard University, 79, 126, 164 

Health, 14, 15 

Health clinics, 70, 72 

Health nurse, 70 

Health social service, 14 

Health social worker, 15 

Health work, 24 

Health workers, 99 

Henderson, C. It., 22, 48 

Hibbs, Dr. H. H., Jr., 44 

Historical method, 121 

Home, 31 

Home economics, 173 

Hospital, 15 



Hospital social work, 181 
Household budgets, 173, 187 

Industrial welfare, 181 
Insanity, 137 
Interview, ]23 
Irish, 34 


Jews, 34 

Joint university council of social 

statistics, 95 

Juvenile court, 19, 69, 133 
Juvenile delinquent, 20, 21 
Juvenile probation work, 141 


Kelso, Robert W., 113 

Laboratories, 39 
Langdcll, 126 
Lathrop, Julia, C., 43 
Law, 39, 100, 164, 175 
Law college, 165 
Lawyer, 40, 126, 179 
Legal profession, 27-29, 39 
Legal training, 164 
Liberal Arts college, 82 
Liberal electives, 80 
Logical method, 122 


Macadam, Mrs., 96, 138 
Maladjustment, 24 
Medical college, 39, 169, 186 
Medicine, 39, 175 
Menger, An tone, 17 
Mental problem cases, 24 
Methodist Episcopal Church, 73 
Minimum wages, 12, 65 
Ministry, 100 
Mussolini, 100 


National Association of Schools of 

Social Work, 159, 192 
National Bureau of Economic 

Research, 33 

National Children's Bureau, 17 
National Conference Charities and 

Corrections, 40, 164 
National Tuberculosis Association, 


New basis of civilization, 65 
New York Charity Organization 

Society, 42 
New York School of Philanthropy, 

New York School of Social Work, 

45, 51, 53, 96 

North Central Association of Col- 
leges and Secondary Schools, 


Nurses, 15, 26 
Nutrition, 173, 187 


Office administration, 104 

Ohio Conference Charities and 

Corrections, 22 
Ohio College Association, 74 
Ohio Public Health Association, 

Ohio State University, 48, 49, 73, 

74, 76, 77, 86-88, 90, 94, 124, 


Ohio University, 73, 75, 77 
Ohio Wesleyan University, 73, 75, 


Organizing ability, 104 
Otterbein University, 73-75 

Parole, 20, 21, 136, 181 
Patten, Simeon N., 65 
Penal institutions, 20 
Penology, 108 

Pennsylvania School for Social 
Work, 44, 67 



Pettit, 148 

Pharmacy, 83 

Philadelphia Training School, 43 

Philanthropy, 4, 29, 37, 39, 49 

Playgrounds, 72, 111, 155 

Political science, 73, 75, 76, 85, 108, 

151, 173, 187, 191 
Politics, 100 

Poverty, 7, 9, 10-13, 23, 35, 37, 50 
Preprofessional courses, 46, 47, 56, 

78, 80, 86, 88, 108, 135, 188 
Preventive philanthropy, 65, 66 
Private schools of social work, 62 
Probation, 19, 20, 70, 99, 109, 136, 

137, 181 
Profession, 162-164, 171, 173, 175. 

177, 178, 188 

Professional courses, 47, 80, 87 
Professional education, 39, 89, 156 
Professional school, 47, 81 
Professional social worker, 20 
Psychiatric social worker, 24, 99, 

141, 181 

Psychiatry, 173, 187 
Psychology, 47, 50, 56, 78, 80, 86, 

88, 108, 135, 188 


Queen, Dr. Stuart A., 44 


Recreation centers, 155 
Recreation director, 181 
Red Cross, 25, 26, 51 
Research, 117, 118, 120-122, 125 
Research worker, 181 
Richmond, Miss Mary E., 40, 41 
Richmond School of Social Work 
and Public Health, 44, 51, 53 
Riley, Dr. Thomas J., 43 
Robinson, Dr. Edward S., 189 
Root, Elihu, 165, 166 


St. Louis School of Social Work, 52, 
53, 56 

St. Vincent de Paul, 13 

School of Applied Philanthropy, 41 
Schools, undergraduate, 80, 83, 86, 

Schools of commerce, 80, 84, 99, 

100, 127, 129 

Schools of education, 80, 84 
Schools of nurses, 70 
Schools of social administration, 

83, 85, 89, 101, 117, 120, 124 
Science and scientific method, 8 
Science, 72 

Sheffield, Mrs. Ada, 144, 146 
Simmons College, 42 
Settlements, 22, 24, 30, 72, 123, 155 
Social clinic, 150 
Social settlement workers, 63, 99, 

Social work, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30- 


Social work laboratory, 150 
Sociology, 50, 61, 73, 75, 78, 84, 

85, 87, 145, 173, 187, 191 
Spencer, Herbert, 37, 38 
Standardization, 28 
Standards of living, 86 
State boards of charities, 26 
State departments of public health, 


Statistical investigator, 120 
Statistical method, 123 
Statisticians, 99, 129, 183 
Statistics, 49, 87, 108 
Steiner, Jessie F., 148, 150 
Story, Judge, 164 
Survey, 123 
Swint, Linton B., 144, 147 

Taft, Chief Justice, 166 

Taylor, Graham, 43 

Technical methods, 122 

Technical training, 123 

Techniques, 24, 27, 45, 50, 70, 93, 
95, 121, 138, 175, 190 

Texas School of Civics and Philan- 
thropy, 44 

Trade School, 47, 93 



Tuberculosis society, 26 
Tufts, Professor, 54, 55, 57 


Undergraduate courses, 82, 92, 93 
Undergraduate training, 91, 97 
Underprivileged, 9, 16, 17, 18 
University of Chicago, 55, 144 
University of Cincinnati, 92 
University of Minnesota, 87 
University of Missouri, 43 
Unskilled workers, 12 

Veterinary college, 171 
Veterinary medicine, 83 
Visiting nurse, 70 
Visiting school teacher, 181 
Vocational guidance, 12 


Walker, Miss Sydnor, 90, 91, 183, 


Warner's, American Charities, 22 
Washington University, 43, 87, 190 
Welfare work, 23, 24, 36 
William and Mary College, 44, 53, 

Wittenberg College, 73, 74, 75 


Yale University, 189 

Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion, 155 

Young Women's Christian Associa- 
tion, 155 


Zoology, 87